Encourage Bible Quotes

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May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: King James Version)
Thank you Heavenly Father. You heard my petition. You have answered my plea. May your name be glorified and be praised.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Strengthening the hearts of the disciples by encouraging them to continue in the faith, and by telling them, "It is necessary to pass through many troubles on our way into the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22
Anonymous (Holy Bible: New International Version)
The broader problem is that a great deal of popular preaching and teaching uses the bible as a pegboard on which to hang a fair bit of Christianized pop psychology or moralizing encouragement, with very little effort to teach the faithful, from the Bible, the massive doctrines of historic confessional Christianity.
D.A. Carson
Discouragement destroys hope, so naturally the devil always tries to discourage us. Without hope we give up, which is what the devil wants us to do. The Bible repeatedly tells us not to be discouraged or dismayed. God knows that we will not come through to victory if we get discouraged, so He always encourages us as we start out on a project by saying to us, “Don’t get discouraged.” God wants us to be encouraged, not discouraged.
Joyce Meyer (Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind)
My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ. Colossians 2 2
Anonymous (Holy Bible: King James Version)
Life is hope. Hope is faith. Faith is believe. Believe is possibilities. Possibility is miraculous. Miraculous is divine. Divine is supernatural. Supernatural is spiritual.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
If you want to help someone move on, you don’t label people as good, bad, worst or best. This categorizes people, rather than experiences with that person. People are not all evil or all good. You don’t teach compassion by categorizing people. Empathy and honest open communication are the only way to live your life. If you’re blaming someone then you haven’t let go of your pain long enough to really try on theirs. However, if you must believe that the only type of person that brings you difficult lessons or experiences in life are those that are bad or worse, then take the time to read the bible a little closer. Christ, put a few people in their place, in order to make point.
Shannon L. Alder
When I was at school one would have said, 'I swear by the Bible.' But Bibles were not encouraged at Experiment House.
C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #4))
It is rare to find an established community of Christians that encourages radical expressions of following Jesus. The natural conservatism of institutions is deeply rooted in the desire to survive, and that desire colors and limits the way they read the Bible and how they see God functioning in the world.
Michael Spencer (Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality)
The Bible is right: A deluge of images does encourage idolatry. Look at the cults of personality in America today. Look at Hollywood. Look at Washington. I'd like to see the next presidential race be run according to Second Commandment principles. No commercials. A radio-only debate. We need an ugly president. I know we're missing out on some potential Abe Lincolns because they'd look gawky and gangly on TV.
A.J. Jacobs (The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible)
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
Spiritual growth is not running faster, as in more meetings, more Bible studies, and more prayer meetings. Spiritual growth happens when we slow our activity down. If we want to meet Jesus, we can't do it on the run. If we want to stay on the road of faith, we have to hit the brakes, pull over to a rest area, and stop. Christianity is not about inviting Jesus to speed through life with us; it's about noticing Jesus sitting at the rest stop. While the church earnestly warns Christians to watch for the devil, the devil is sitting in the congregation encouraging everyone to keep busy doing "good things.
Mike Yaconelli
Satanists are encouraged to indulge in the seven deadly sins, as they need hurt no one; they were only invented by the Christian Church to insure guilt on the part of its followers. The Christian Church knows that it is impossible for anyone to avoid committing these sins, as they are all things which we, being human, most naturally do. After inevitably committing these sins financial offerings to the church in order to "pay off" God are employed as a sop to the parishioner's conscience!
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Satanic Bible)
So Encourage Each Other and Build Each Other Up-Positive Connections.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: King James Version)
Blessed is the person who desired to read the Holy Scriptures. It’s brings great reward to those who believe, trust and obey the Holy instructions.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Still, shifting my thinking on the Bible did not mean I was losing my faith in God. In fact, I had the growing sense that God was inviting me down this path, encouraging it even.
Peter Enns (The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It)
Your words and deeds are seeds, scattered in the wind... the seeds are light or darkness... they'll break apart or mend... Sow light instead of gloom. Sow faith instead of doubt. Sow truth and love, and hope, and peace. Sow light and darkness rout.
Colleen Luntzel (The World is a Potluck... Bring BREAD)
The greatest encouragement throughout the Bible is God's love for His lost race and the willingness of Christ, the eternal Son, to show forth that love in God's plan of redemption. The love of Jesus is so inclusive that it knows no boundaries. At the point where we stop caring and loving, Jesus is still there loving and caring
A.W. Tozer (Jesus, Author of Our Faith)
We are sheep surrounded by green pastures, but we will not eat. We seem to have no appetite for the Word of God.
James M. Rasbeary (Thou Art With Me: Strength, Guidance and Encouragement from the 23rd Psalm)
When I was a child, I thought like a child. When I became adult, I seek a deeper understanding of life.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The Lord will never forsake you. His presence is always with you everywhere you may go.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
The Bible encourages us to “serve one another in love.” One of the ways you can work this out in your marriage is first to ask yourself, “Whose needs will this conversation serve?” Your needs and those of your husband often cannot be met in the same conversation. When it’s your husband’s turn to talk, practice staying in the box he wants to open. You see, when he brings up an issue for discussion, he actually intends to talk about that issue alone.
Bill Farrel (Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti)
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for loving me in spite of my transgressions and failing. Please continue to guide me away from temptations and into your loving embrace. Encourage my desire for oneness with You so that I will ask for it. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Christina Weigand (Women of the Bible: A Study)
I am most interested in encouraging Christians to think and read well. Christians, of all people, should reflect the mind of their Maker. Learning to read well is a step toward loving God with your mind. It is a leap toward thinking God’s thoughts after Him.
James W. Sire (How to Read Slowly)
The Reformation was an attempt to put the Bible at the heart of the Church again--not to give it into the hands of private readers. The Bible was to be seen as a public document, the charter of the Church's life; all believers should have access to it because all would need to know the common language of the Church and the standards by which the Church argued about theology and behaviour. The huge Bibles that were chained up in English churches in the sixteenth century were there as a sign of this. It was only as the rapid development of cheap printing advanced that the Bible as a single affordable volume came to be within everyone's reach as something for individuals to possess and study in private. The leaders of the Reformation would have been surprised to be associated with any move to encourage anyone and everyone to form their own conclusions about the Bible. For them, it was once again a text to be struggled with in the context of prayer and shared reflection.
Rowan Williams (Tokens of Trust)
Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 29:11
Bible N T Gospels Selections (The Four Gospels: The Pocket Canons Edition)
What could be more encouraging than realizing that Jesus calls the unqualified?
Justin Buzzard (The Big Story: How the Bible Makes Sense out of Life)
The purest thought comes from mediation on word of God.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
The Bible is man in a nutshell. Good and evil live side by side in the same book. That's why it's cherished. The good find in it encouragement, the weak solace, the evil, justification.
Bangambiki Habyarimana (The Great Pearl of Wisdom)
Nothing in the Bible encourages us to give sex the exalted status it has in our culture, as if finding our purpose, our identity, and our fulfillment all rest with what we can or cannot do with our private parts.
Kevin DeYoung (What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?)
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . . If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them. If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing. (Speech was broadcast by ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965)
Paul Harvey
When you live by God’s Word, your life works. When you live without God’s Word, life doesn’t work. God’s Word builds you up, feeds your soul, and gives you strength, direction, guidance, hope, encouragement, and faith. Remember that He gave you His Word so that you would know Him and the way He wants You to live.
Stormie Omartian (The Prayer That Changes Everything: The Hidden Power of Praising God)
The real battle for Christians today is not Armageddon, it is the battle for a sensible approach to that ancient library of books we call the Bible. The Bible was written by human beings, with all the longings, prejudices and illusions that characterise us as a species. It is not an apocalyptic almanac, a mystical code book, an inerrant textbook for living. It is a compendium of a particular people's struggle with meaning; so it should encourage us to do the same in our day.
Richard Holloway (Doubts and Loves: What is Left of Christianity)
To reject the Word of God is to forsake the holy grace.
Lailah Gifty Akita
The Bible never encourages blind faith. God provides both rational and empirical proofs to confirm His word.
Domenic Marbaniang (The Logic of Faith: The Scales of Reason)
The Bible strongly encourages us to get involved in discipleship.
Jim George (A Man After God's Own Heart)
Bible contains passages in which Christ encourages his listeners not to worry about material provisions, and celebrates the value of being rather than always doing.
Tessa Watt (Introducing Mindfulness: A Practical Guide (Introducing...))
Dear brethren, if we shut our ears to what Jesus tells us, we shall never have power in prayer, nor shall we enjoy intimate communion with the Well-beloved.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Encouraged to Pray: Classic Sermons on Prayer)
I am far too weak to help you. But God is not too weak to use me to help you.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
As I walk I mediate on the word of God. It comforts me.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Children should be directed and encouraged to ask their parents questions concerning the things of God, a practice which would be perhaps of all others the most profitable way of catechising;
Matthew Henry (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (Unabridged))
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN we pray? Have you ever really thought about that? When you bow your knee and fold your hands or walk the floor with your eyes closed, opening your heart to heaven, what exactly happens? There are very few references in the Bible about the proper procedures for how to pray, and I believe that is because prayer is more about the heart’s attitude and focus than it is about whether we stand, sit, close our eyes, or any other practice we normally associate with prayer. The truth be told, if we are supposed to pray without ceasing, we should also be able to work on an engine, write an e-mail, give a presentation, change a diaper, write a report, have coffee with a friend, encourage a coworker, pay our bills, and any of the other myriad of things we do in a day while still keeping the communication lines open with heaven. I believe that every day we need focused times of prayer, but at all other times we should be in an attitude of prayer with our spiritual ears open to the thoughts of heaven. There should be seasons of intense, concentrated prayer and fasting with specified hours set aside for intercession, and there should be times when prayer is simply a regular part of our daily routine. A great interest has arisen in the last decade around 24-7 prayer rooms where different church members pray in hour-long blocks so that unbroken intercession is raised up for their city and our world. Other churches dedicate evenings solely to prayer and worship and gather believers to lift their voices in song and petition to the Lord. While all of these are wonderful things to do, at its essence prayer is simply conversation with God. Because we have changed passports from the kingdom of this world to the kingdom of heaven, we are members of God’s family and therefore have the right to talk with our Father anytime we want because He is not limited by time and space. Yet while it isn’t difficult to speak to Him, even as a babe in faith, it does take some maturity to discern His voice from the voice of our own thoughts, dreams, and desires. This is why, when I speak about prayer, I get more questions about hearing the voice of God than anything else.
Cindy Trimm (The Prayer Warrior's Way: Strategies from Heaven for Intimate Communication with God)
The approach to digital culture I abhor would indeed turn all the world's books into one book, just as Kevin (Kelly) suggested. It might start to happen in the next decade or so. Google and other companies are scanning library books into the cloud in a massive Manhattan Project of cultural digitization. What happens next is what's important. If the books in the cloud are accessed via user interfaces that encourage mashups of fragments that obscure the context and authorship of each fragment, there will be only one book. This is what happens today with a lot of content; often you don't know where a quoted fragment from a news story came from, who wrote a comment, or who shot a video. A continuation of the present trend will make us like various medieval religious empires, or like North Korea, a society with a single book. The Bible can serve as a prototypical example. Like Wikipedia, the Bible's authorship was shared, largely anonymous, and cumulative, and the obscurity of the individual authors served to create an oracle-like ambience for the document as "the literal word of God." If we take a non-metaphysical view of the Bible, it serves as a link to our ancestors, a window. The ethereal, digital replacement technology for the printing press happens to have come of age in a time when the unfortunate ideology I'm criticizing dominates technological culture. Authorship - the very idea of the individual point of view - is not a priority of the new ideology. The digital flattening of expression into a global mush is not presently enforced from the top down, as it is in the case of a North Korean printing press. Instead, the design of software builds the ideology into those actions that are the easiest to perform on the software designs that are becoming ubiquitous. It is true that by using these tools, individuals can author books or blogs or whatever, but people are encouraged by the economics of free content, crowd dynamics, and lord aggregators to serve up fragments instead of considered whole expressions or arguments. The efforts of authors are appreciated in a manner that erases the boundaries between them. The one collective book will absolutely not be the same thing as the library of books by individuals it is bankrupting. Some believe it will be better; others, including me, believe it will be disastrously worse. As the famous line goes from Inherit the Wind: 'The Bible is a book... but it is not the only book' Any singular, exclusive book, even the collective one accumulating in the cloud, will become a cruel book if it is the only one available.
Jaron Lanier (You Are Not a Gadget)
Connect with positive people who will stand in faith with you and lift you up in prayer. Study the Word of God and put your faith in action, for the Bible declares, "Faith without deeds is dead" (James 2:26)
Jocelyn Green (Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives)
idea that all of us are caterpillars, really. Furry little creatures scooting along the ground wondering why we can't seem to fly. And then God, in all His goodness, encourages us to crawl in a hole, bury our old selves, and die to the life we once knew. If we'll do that, if we'll trust Him with our entire existence, then He'll give us something beautiful in exchange. He'll give us wings. The ultimate wings come when we give our lives to Christ and let Him be Lord of our lives, our Savior. Without those wings, a person cannot see heaven—a tragedy none of us need face if only we accept God's gift of grace. If this idea is confusing to you, if you've never considered Jesus' second chances, then make a phone call. Find a Bible-believing church and find out more about the God who made you, the One who created a plan for your salvation. But if you've known God and find yourself stuck on the ground again, remember this. Second chances happen throughout our lives. Jesus told us to forgive seventy times seven—in other words, to always forgive. And in return He promised us the same. No matter where you're at in life, no matter what you've done, God waits with open arms, ready to give you that second chance. Even for the seven-hundredth time.
Karen Kingsbury (Oceans Apart)
The moment he saw her, he loved her. His first words upon meeting her express a profound sense of wonder, genuine delight, and abiding satisfaction: This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Clearly, he already felt a deep, personal attachment to Eve. She was a priceless treasure to be cherished , a worthy partner to encourage him, and a pleasing spouse who would love him in return. Instantly, he adored her and embraced her as his own.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Twelve Extraordinary Women: How God Shaped Women of the Bible, and What He Wants to Do with You)
Finding things and losing things is what the Bible is all about. God even seemed to encourage it. He talked about losing your job, or even your life, if you want to find it. He talked about losing your status to find real power.
Bob Goff (Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World)
As strange as it may sound, it is the hypocrisy of Christians in the Bible that sometimes encourages me more than anything else. It reminds me that God’s relentless grip on me, not my relentless grip on God, keeps me in his love.
Scott Sauls (Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides)
The Bible isn’t just a book about religion; it’s a book about relationships, and it’s filled with practical suggestions for making our own relationships work. Here are some examples: Don’t bring up issues that have already been dealt with in the past. (Prov. 17:9) Don’t stretch the truth, but be honest in your conversation. (Eph. 4:25) If someone gets upset, don’t respond with anger. (Prov. 15:1; 25:15; 29:11) Listen carefully, and don’t interrupt until you’ve really heard the other person. (Prov. 18:13) Look for ways to encourage the other person. (1 Thess. 5:11) Pick your battles; avoid arguing whenever possible. (Prov. 17:14) Put energy into seeing things from the other person’s point of view. (Phil. 2:4) Spend a lot more time listening than talking. (James 1:19; Prov. 10:19) Think before you respond to someone. (Prov. 15:28) Watch carefully what you say so you don’t get yourself in trouble. (Prov. 21:23)
Mike Bechtle (People Can't Drive You Crazy If You Don't Give Them the Keys)
It is a tremendous encouragement to our pastors when we thank them for their preaching, their teaching or their personal words of Bible exhortation or comfort. Whether they have preached to us in the main weekly meeting of church or spoken Bible words to us in a small group or just one to one, it is good to learn the habit of thanking them. Not thanking them particularly for their eloquence (if they were eloquent), for their entertainment (if they were entertaining), or even for their manner (if it was winsome), but for the Bible content of what they have taught us.
Christopher Ash (The Book Your Pastor Wishes You Would Read: But Is Too Embarrassed to Ask)
I began realizing it was okay to just sit with Him instead of always reading and journaling prayers or hustling off to the next bible study. It was okay to just be still. It was possible to find Him in the immense stillness, the hidden parts of my heart. He was always there in my hiddenness.
Natalie Brenner (This Undeserved Life: Uncovering The Gifts of Grief and The Fullness of Life)
Nothing has a greater impact on spiritual growth than reflection on Scripture. If churches could do only one thing to help people at all levels of spiritual maturity grow in their relationship with Christ, their choice is clear. They would inspire, encourage, and equip their people to read the Bible.1
Max Lucado (Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now)
Most Christians made themselves gods of this earth. Now people are hating God, and don't want to go to church because of Christians. Church has changed from place of worship to a place of war-ship. May God saved us from false prophets, hypocrites & Christians who are abusive towards our faith. Mathew 5:14-16
De philosopher DJ Kyos
The key to seeing ourselves in this picture is to firmly grasp that God is still working his plan even when we can’t see it. We cannot genuinely claim to believe in the unseen, supernatural world while not believing that God’s intelligent providence is active in our lives and the affairs of human history. God wants us to live intentionally​—believing that his unseen hand and the invisible agents loyal to him and us (Heb. 1:14) are engaged in our circumstances so that, together, God’s goal of a global Eden moves unstoppably onward. Each of us is vital to someone’s path to the kingdom and the defense of that kingdom. Each day affords us contact with people under the dominion of darkness and opportunities to encourage each other in the hard task of fulfilling our purpose in an imperfect world. Everything we do and say matters, though we may never know why or how. But our job isn’t to see—it’s to do. Walking by faith isn’t passive—it’s purposeful.
Michael S. Heiser (Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World And Why It Matters)
The Bible never mentions Christianity. It does not preach Christianity, nor does it encourage us to preach Christianity. Paul did not preach Christianity, nor did any of the other apostles. During centuries when the Church was strong and vibrant, she did not preach Christianity either. Christianity, like Judaism and "Yahwism", is an invention of biblical scholars, theologians, and politicians, and one of its chief effects is to keep Christians and the Church in their proper marginal place. The Bible speaks of Christians and of the Church, but Christianity is gnostic, and the Church firmly rejected gnosticism from her earliest days.
Peter J. Leithart (Against Christianity)
Adam and Eve never existed, but Chartres Cathedral is still beautiful. Much of the Bible may be fictional, but it can still bring joy to billions and can still encourage humans to be compassionate, courageous, and creative—just like other great works of fiction, such as Don Quixote, War and Peace, and the Harry Potter books.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Abraham Lincoln said, “I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book upon reason that you can and the balance upon faith, and you will live and die a better man.” Coleridge said he believed the Bible to be the Word of God because, as he put it, “It finds me.” “If you want encouragement,” John Bunyan wrote, “entertain the promises.
Billy Graham (Hope for Each Day: Words of Wisdom and Faith)
born and raised in Honolulu but had spent four years of his childhood flying kites and catching crickets in Indonesia. After high school, he’d passed two relatively laid-back years as a student at Occidental College in Los Angeles before transferring to Columbia, where by his own account he’d behaved nothing like a college boy set loose in 1980s Manhattan and instead lived like a sixteenth-century mountain hermit, reading lofty works of literature and philosophy in a grimy apartment on 109th Street, writing bad poetry, and fasting on Sundays. We laughed about all of it, swapping stories about our backgrounds and what led us to the law. Barack was serious without being self-serious. He was breezy in his manner but powerful in his mind. It was a strange, stirring combination. Surprising to me, too, was how well he knew Chicago. Barack was the first person I’d met at Sidley who had spent time in the barbershops, barbecue joints, and Bible-thumping black parishes of the Far South Side. Before going to law school, he’d worked in Chicago for three years as a community organizer, earning $12,000 a year from a nonprofit that bound together a coalition of churches. His task was to help rebuild neighborhoods and bring back jobs. As he described it, it had been two parts frustration to one part reward: He’d spend weeks planning a community meeting, only to have a dozen people show up. His efforts were scoffed at by union leaders and picked apart by black folks and white folks alike. Yet over time, he’d won a few incremental victories, and this seemed to encourage him. He was in law school, he explained, because grassroots organizing had shown him that meaningful societal change required not just the work of the people on the ground but stronger policies and governmental action as well. Despite my resistance to the hype that had preceded him, I found myself admiring Barack for both his self-assuredness and his earnest demeanor. He was refreshing, unconventional, and weirdly elegant.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Since Corona Virus and Lockdown. There has been to much sexual content on our timeline. Too much fighting and swearing. Too much sadness, bitterness, propaganda,death,fake news , depression, tension and stress. We are all scared and worried. We have seen our loved ones getting infected and some passed on. Our minds are filled with bad and suicidal thoughts . Today may God renew your mind and wipe all of that. Romans 12: 2
De philosopher DJ Kyos
Despite the fact you can find the Bible almost everywhere in modern society, few people actually read it anymore. As a result, most people form their opinions about the Bible based on what other people have told them. And oftentimes, those people haven’t read the Bible either! See why I’ve been encouraging you to read the Bible for yourself? Don’t let others draw conclusions for you – not when it comes to such an important issue.
Britt Gillette (Coming To Jesus: One Man's Search for Truth and Life Purpose)
Therefore, encourage and toughen your mind against the mishaps that afflict even the most powerful and the most successful, For accident and illness can in a moment take away all that was built over many years. So I declare to you: he is lord of your life that scorns his own. Be the lord of your own life therefore, by not fearing to lose it. Since the day we were born we are being led towards the day we die: in the interim let us be courageous, and do good things.
A.C. Grayling (The Good Book: A Humanist Bible)
I think you have a great women's ministry when the women of your community fall wildly in love with Jesus. Church ladies like this are the overflow of women who are empowered to lead, to challenge, to seek justice and love mercy, to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth like our church mothers and fathers of the past. You have a great women's ministry when there is room for everyone. You have a great women's ministry when you have detoxed from the world's views and unattainable standards for women and begun to celebrate the everyday women of valor, sitting next to you, and when you encourage, affirm, and welcome the diversity of women—their lives, their voices, their experiences—to the community. You have a great women's ministry when your women are ministering—to the world, to the church, to one another—pouring out freely the grace they have received, however God has gifted them, including cooking and crafts, strategy and leadership.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
Music is not the entire place of worship - it is only a vehicle to be used by God. In order for us to find a place of encounter, we also have to find a place of security and safety. It's the role of a shepherd to lead each thirsty sheep to clean waters - shepherding is a big deal in the Bible. And yet, so much attention nowadays is given to music resource that we are not encouraging music leaders to excel in their actual task - which is more than just singing great songs.
Tanya Riches
What is inherent or intuitively “known within” and what has been taught? Nature or Nurture? Perhaps our “amnesia” is actually our society “telling” us to ignore impressions, intuitions, and feelings that many of us have that could be interpreted as recollections from past lives or contact with the spirit realm. The Western paradigm, like other traditions and societies, will bring us, through the back door, to mass hypnosis and social enculturation, sometimes called education. It is often the process of enculturation, or education and assimilation, that “causes” us to ignore our feelings and intuitions, to essentially forget our 6th sense connected to our higher selves, and divine wisdom. We are strongly encouraged here in the West to put aside childish notions. Not so fast. Forget not that it was Jesus who said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (The Bible, Matthew 18:3)
Stephen Poplin (Inner Journeys, Cosmic Sojourns: Life transforming stories, adventures and messages from a spiritual hypnotherapist's casebook)
The Dangers of Dating There is a new phenomenon that has hit our society. It is called dating, and everyone is doing it. Dating has turned into a huge money-maker. Now, we have television shows dedicated to dating. We have internet dating sites, speed dating, and music that encourages it all over the world. Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t say anything about dating. I realize there are many happily married couples whose marriages are a result of dating, but I want you to understand that there is great danger in dating. I’m not referring to courting or a betrothal. I’m referring to worldly dating, which consists of premarital sex, deep emotional connections, a great deal of kissing, and heavy petting, etc. This system of dating is recreational in nature, and it has no real purpose besides fulfilling lust, loneliness, and perversion. Never forget that it’s satan who convinces us to fill a legitimate need, illegitimately. Nonetheless, let’s examine some of these dangers now.
Cornelius Lindsey (So, You Want to be Married? II)
We need, then, to ask people questions and get them talking. We ought to know more about the Bible than they do, but they are likely to know more about the real world than we do. So we should encourage them to tell us about their home and family life, their job, their expertise and their spare-time interests. We also need to penetrate beyond their doing to their thinking. What makes them tick? How does their Christian faith motivate them? What problems do they have which impede their believing or inhibit them from applying their faith to their life?
John R.W. Stott (Between Two Worlds)
To experience joy on a daily basis, learn what it means to live in the moment. Notice I said in, not for. To live for the moment is irresponsible and leads to decisions you may regret. You may already have a testimony of what it meant for you to live for the moment. Living in the moment helps us recognize that God can be found in this moment, whether it contains joy or sorrow. As a perfectionist, I’m always waiting for a perfect moment before I enjoy it. But nothing is ever perfect! That’s why the Bible encourages us to “make the most of every opportunity” for doing good (Eph. 5:16
Kay Warren (Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough)
Many people are too soft-hearted; they give encouragement to someone who needs discouragement instead. To encourage a powerless person to try harder is one of the worst things you could possibly do. The best thing you can do is to discourage him from believing that he can do it on his own. Another use of the law is to show a person that she is not living up to a standard. We will talk about the role of the truth and confrontation in chapter 17, but it is important to understand in this context that people will never get to the end of themselves if they do not see themselves as failing.
Henry Cloud (How People Grow: What the Bible Reveals About Personal Growth)
by have a home in the first place? Good question! When I have a tea party for my grandchildren, I'm passing on to them the things my mama passed on to me-the value of manners and the joy of spending quiet time together. When Bob reads a Bible story to those little ones, he's passing along his deep faith. When we watch videos together, play games, work on projects-we're building a chain of memories for the future. These aren't lessons that can be taught in lecture form. They're taught through the way we live. What we teach our children-or any child who shares our lives-they will teach to their children. What we share with our children, they will share with generations to come. friend of mine loves the water, the out doors, and the California sunshine. She says they're a constant reminder of God's incredible creativity. Do you may have a patio or a deck or a small balcony? Bob and I have never regretted the time and expense of creating outdoor areas to spend time in. And when we sit outside, we enhance our experience with a cool salad of homegrown tomatoes and lettuce, a tall glass of lemonade, and beautiful flowers in a basket. Use this wonderful time to contemplate all God is doing in your life. ecome an answer to prayer! • Call and encourage someone today.
Emilie Barnes (365 Things Every Woman Should Know)
the New Testament envisions followers of Jesus living alongside one another for the sake of one another. The Bible portrays the church as a community of Christians who care for one another, love one another, host one another, receive one another, honor one another, serve one another, instruct one another, forgive one another, motivate one another, build up one another, encourage one another, comfort one another, pray for one another, confess sin to one another, esteem one another, edify one another, teach one another, show kindness to one another, give to one another, rejoice with one another, weep with one another, hurt with one another, and restore one another.
David Platt (Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live.)
The story of my childhood is the usual bleak fantasy, and we can dismiss it with the restrained observation that I certainly would not consider living it again. In those days my mother was given to the exasperating and mysterious habit of having babies. As they were born, I took them over with one hand and held a book with the other. The children probably suffered, though they have since been kind enough to deny it, and in this way I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin and A Tale of Two Cities over and over and over again; in this way, in fact, I read just about everything I could get my hands on—except the Bible, probably because it was the only book I was encouraged to read.
James Baldwin (Notes of a Native Son)
Can sin unsave the Christian?   One item that I feel I must make clear before answering this question is to make plain that neither I, nor anyone else can tell a man’s heart relationship with God. There is an intrinsic problem in answering this question, as the only basis the Bible gives us for judging one another is the fruit which we do or do not bear. The New Testament writers do assume, for the most part, that the life of faith does bear fruit, but the writers also seem to give much encouragement for saints to stay holy in their calling, and there are not a few instances where saints are scolded for allowing themselves to be pulled back into their former lives. Only God, who sees the hearts and motives of man can judge man; and that is as it should be. 
Patrick Davis (Because You Asked)
I notice that you’re wearing your wedding ring,” he said after I sat down. “Do you think you might be in denial?” I guess it was a fair question, but it caught me off guard. “I know Chris is gone,” I said. “But I do feel as if I’m still married to him.” I looked at my ring. It didn’t mean I was in denial; it meant I loved Chris. Yet the question bothered me. My husband is dead, and of course I acknowledge it. But that’s different than shouting about it. The ring is a symbol of our love as well as our marriage. How should I treat that symbol? Do I have a problem? I left the office in a quandary. The Bible says “until death do you part.” I know that means that marriage lasts only until one death, and that it’s okay for me to marry again. I know good friends wo are widows, and I’ve encouraged them to marry, feeling it was right for them. One of my dearest friends decided to do just that this past summer. It hadn’t been that long since her husband had died, but things had just come together, and her new love deserved to be acknowledged. It was another case, to me, of finding beauty through the ashes. “I kept asking God, why now? Why so soon?” she confessed. “The answer that came back was, timing doesn’t matter. Accept the gift.” She’s right. People may judge her, but she had the courage and strength to admit that she had something beautiful, and that the right thing to do was act on it. I know with certainty that not only was the man right but the timing was as well. They have strengthened each other, and I’m sure will have a life together many can only dream of.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
The implication that the change in nomenclature from “Multiple Personality Disorder” to “Dissociative Identity Disorder” means the condition has been repudiated and “dropped” from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association is false and misleading. Many if not most diagnostic entities have been renamed or have had their names modified as psychiatry changes in its conceptualizations and classifications of mental illnesses. When the DSM decided to go with “Dissociative Identity Disorder” it put “(formerly multiple personality disorder)” right after the new name to signify that it was the same condition. It’s right there on page 526 of DSM-IV-R. There have been four different names for this condition in the DSMs over the course of my career. I was part of the group that developed and wrote successive descriptions and diagnostic criteria for this condition for DSM-III-R, DSM–IV, and DSM-IV-TR. While some patients have been hurt by the impact of material that proves to be inaccurate, there is no evidence that scientifically demonstrates the prevalence of such events. Most material alleged to be false has been disputed by someone, but has not been proven false. Finally, however intriguing the idea of encouraging forgetting troubling material may seem, there is no evidence that it is either effective or safe as a general approach to treatment. There is considerable belief that when such material is put out of mind, it creates symptoms indirectly, from “behind the scenes.” Ironically, such efforts purport to cure some dissociative phenomena by encouraging others, such as Dissociative Amnesia.
Richard P. Kluft
No, Jesus is right by your side to encourage you and restore you to wholeness. You may say, “But I don’t deserve it!” That’s right. That’s what makes it His unmerited favor in your life. There is a beautiful psalm that says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand” (Psalm 37:23–24). When you fail, Jesus is there to uphold you. Unlike some of your so-called “friends,” He does not just take off. You can count on Him. He is a faithful, dependable and trustworthy friend. Even when you have failed Him, He is right there with you, ready to pick you up and restore you to wholeness. Amen! The Bible talks about a friend who “sticks closer than a brother.” That’s Jesus! Beloved, lean on His constant presence. Draw on His unfailing strength and support for you today.
Joseph Prince (100 Days of Favor: Daily Readings From Unmerited Favor)
Easterners who embrace an authoritarian mindset need to be reminded that religious authorities are not all created equal; some are worth following, and some are not. If the credentials of the leaders are not scrutinized and their messages not weighed, how can one know which should be followed? The Bible encourages us to “test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21 ESV) and warns, “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1 ESV). The question is, Will Easterners have the courage and tenacity to apply the needed tests? This can be challenging because, as Nabeel reminds us, “When authority is derived from position rather than reason, the act of questioning leadership is dangerous because it has the potential to upset the system. Dissension is reprimanded and obedience is rewarded.
Nabeel Qureshi (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity)
important public place in all of Israel. There couldn’t be any higher stakes in the honor game. The second point Matthew makes is at the end of the conflict story: “No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions” (Mt 22:46). Jesus won. The leaders then decide to kill Jesus. Honor is at stake here. They cannot just go down to the assassin’s booth at the market. Sticking a knife in Jesus in some Jerusalem alley would make him a martyr. They need to publicly disgrace Jesus in order to get their honor back. They need him executed as a criminal. This honor stuff is pretty serious. Some Middle Easterners still kill over honor.[19] It is within this context that we must understand the fact that Jesus encouraged his disciples to be humble: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor” (Lk 14:8). If you are not humble, you could suffer a terrible fate: “for
E. Randolph Richards (Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible)
When a thousand people believe some made-up story for one month, that’s fake news. When a billion people believe it for a thousand years, that’s a religion, and we are admonished not to call it “fake news” in order not to hurt the feelings of the faithful (or incur their wrath). Note, however, that I am not denying the effectiveness or potential benevolence of religion. Just the opposite. For better or worse, fiction is among the most effective tools in humanity’s tool kit. By bringing people together, religious creeds make large-scale human cooperation possible. They inspire people to build hospitals, schools, and bridges in addition to armies and prisons. Adam and Eve never existed, but Chartres Cathedral is still beautiful. Much of the Bible may be fictional, but it can still bring joy to billions and can still encourage humans to be compassionate, courageous, and creative—just like other great works of fiction, such as Don Quixote, War and Peace, and the Harry Potter books.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
In my own life, I have seen God calm my fears and set my heart at rest when I praise and worship Him in the midst of my challenges. My friend, I want to encourage you, when you are riddled by destructive thoughts of fear or despair, turn your eyes upward and begin praising God for who He is and what He is able to do. Fears so easily pop into our thought-lives, and if we are not careful they can begin to dominate our minds. At that moment, allow your heart to worship Him. Praise Him that He knows all things, He can see all things, and He can do whatever He wants. Give Him glory for His sovereignty, majesty, love, and compassion. What a privilege that He invites us, His people to approach His throne and worship Him.... We can worship God day and night. Although it may seem counterintuitive, we can praise God even in our challenges and difficulties as we turn our hearts toward Him and recognize His ability to do all things. The opposite of worship would be to live with an attitude of pride, arrogance, fear, and self-centeredness.
Karol Ladd (Becoming a Woman of the Word: Knowing, Loving, and Living the Bible)
My honors thesis project was my first interactive exhibit, in which two facing chairs were activated by a motion sensor when the viewer walked by. One was a cofortable armchair of plush red velvet, with a dildo sticking out of a hole in the seat. When activated, the dildo moved up and down and a strobe light pulsed. The facing chair was hard and uncomfortable, with spikes protruding from the seat, and when the viewer walked by it a dog would bark. The juxtaposition of the two chairs was meant to represent how forces of repression censor the desire for liberation. In that same exhibition, I showed a handmade box in the shape of a cross, decorated with a beautiful painting of the Holy Trinity. The viewer was encouraged to open the box, where they would find a dildo wrapped in the American flag and nailed to a cross-- this was meant to symbolize the hypocrisy and repression that is hidden under the attractive facade of organized religion. The dildo was surrounded by pages from the Bible, which were themselves surrounded by images of the sickness and starvation caused by the embargo in Iraq, a comment on the effects of imposing one culture and religion on another.
Wafaa Bilal (Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun)
Life is seldom simple. Growth in God’s grace is a process and not an event. Tough things are not going to turn around overnight because you have entrusted them to the Lord. The Bible is honest in its description of how grave and comprehensive our war with sin is. Individuals, friendships, churches, marriages, and neighborhoods don’t turn around in a moment. The Bible describes the Christian life as a journey that often takes us through the wilderness. You will get tired and confused. You will have moments when you wonder where God is. You will struggle to see God’s promises at work in your life. You will feel that following God has brought you more suffering than blessing. You will go through moments when it seems as if the principles of Scripture don’t work. It will sometimes seem as if the wrong side wins. There will be moments when you feel alone and misunderstood. There will be times when you feel like quitting. This passage is meant to encourage you to be full of hope in the midst of things you don’t fully understand. You don’t have to figure everything out. You do need to know and trust the One who does understand, and who knows exactly what he is doing. Do you look at your life as Paul looked at the
Timothy S. Lane (How People Change)
Ron Sider rocked the Christian world over thirty years ago with his book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. He now challenges Christians to pragmatic ministry to the poor by joining in a covenant he calls the Generous Christian Pledge.' He encourages every Christian to undertake a lifestyle mission for the poor. The pledge reads: "I pledge to open my heart to God's call to care as much about the poor as the Bible does. Daily, to pray for the poor, beginning with the Generous Christians Prayer: "Lord Jesus, teach my heart to share your love with the poor." Weekly, to minister, at least one hour, to a poor person: helping, serving, sharing with and mostly, getting to know someone in need. Monthly, to study, at least one book, article, or film about the plight of the poor and hungry and discuss it with others. Yearly, to retreat, for a few hours before the Scriptures, to meditate on this one question: Is caring for the poor as important in my life as it is in the Bible? and to examine my budget and priorities in light of it, asking God what changes He would like me to make in the use of my time, money, and influence." The cage-rattling statements of Jesus and James demand a response. The Generous Christian Pledge is a great place to start.
Paul Borthwick (Western Christians in Global Mission: What's the Role of the North American Church?)
First, READ this book a chapter a day. We suggest at least five days a week for the next seven weeks, but whatever works for your schedule. Each chapter should only take you around ten minutes to read. Second, READ the Bible each day. Let the Word of God mold you into a person of prayer. We encourage you to read through the Gospel of Luke during these seven weeks and be studying it through the lens of what you can learn from Jesus about prayer. You are also encouraged to look up and study verses in each chapter that you are unfamiliar with that spark your interest. Third, PRAY every day. Prayer should be both scheduled and spontaneous. Choose a place and time when you can pray alone each day, preferably in the morning (Ps. 5:3). Write down specific needs and personal requests you’ll be targeting in prayer over the next few weeks, along with the following prayer: Heavenly Father, I come to You in Jesus’ name, asking that You draw me into a closer, more personal relationship with You. Cleanse me of my sins and prepare my heart to pray in a way that pleases You. Help me know You and love You more this week. Use all the circumstances of my life to make me more like Jesus, and teach me how to pray more strategically and effectively in Your name, according to Your will and Your Word. Use my faith, my obedience, and my prayers this week for the benefit of others, for my good, and for Your glory. Amen. May we each experience the amazing power of God in our generation as a testimony of His goodness for His glory! My Scheduled Prayer Time ___:___ a.m./p.m. My Scheduled Prayer Place ________________________ My Prayer Targets Develop a specific, personalized, ongoing prayer list using one or more of the following questions: What are your top three biggest needs right now? What are the top three things you are most stressed about? What are three issues in your life that would take a miracle of God to resolve? What is something good and honorable that, if God provided it, would greatly benefit you, your family, and others? What is something you believe God may be leading you to do, but you need His clarity and direction on it? What is a need from someone you love that you’d like to start praying about? 1. ______________________________________________ 2. ______________________________________________ 3. ______________________________________________ 4. ______________________________________________ 5. ______________________________________________ 6. ______________________________________________
Stephen Kendrick (The Battle Plan for Prayer: From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies)
MY FIRST ASSIGNMENT AFTER BEING ORDAINED as a pastor almost finished me. I was called to be the assistant pastor in a large and affluent suburban church. I was glad to be part of such an obviously winning organization. After I had been there a short time, a few people came to me and asked that I lead them in a Bible study. “Of course,” I said, “there is nothing I would rather do.” We met on Monday evenings. There weren’t many—eight or nine men and women—but even so that was triple the two or three that Jesus defined as a quorum. They were eager and attentive; I was full of enthusiasm. After a few weeks the senior pastor, my boss, asked me what I was doing on Monday evenings. I told him. He asked me how many people were there. I told him. He told me that I would have to stop. “Why?” I asked. “It is not cost-effective. That is too few people to spend your time on.” I was told then how I should spend my time. I was introduced to the principles of successful church administration: crowds are important, individuals are expendable; the positive must always be accented, the negative must be suppressed. Don’t expect too much of people—your job is to make them feel good about themselves and about the church. Don’t talk too much about abstractions like God and sin—deal with practical issues. We had an elaborate music program, expensively and brilliantly executed. The sermons were seven minutes long and of the sort that Father Taylor (the sailor-preacher in Boston who was the model for Father Mapple in Melville’s Moby Dick) complained of in the transcendentalists of the last century: that a person could no more be converted listening to sermons like that than get intoxicated drinking skim milk.[2] It was soon apparent that I didn’t fit. I had supposed that I was there to be a pastor: to proclaim and interpret Scripture, to guide people into a life of prayer, to encourage faith, to represent the mercy and forgiveness of Christ at special times of need, to train people to live as disciples in their families, in their communities and in their work. In fact I had been hired to help run a church and do it as efficiently as possible: to be a cheerleader to this dynamic organization, to recruit members, to lend the dignity of my office to certain ceremonial occasions, to promote the image of a prestigious religious institution. I got out of there as quickly as I could decently manage it. At the time I thought I had just been unlucky. Later I came to realize that what I experienced was not at all uncommon.
Eugene H. Peterson (Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best)
Say what you will of religion, but draw applicable conclusions and comparisons to reach a consensus. Religion = Reli = Prefix to Relic, or an ancient item. In days of old, items were novel, and they inspired devotion to the divine, and in the divine. Now, items are hypnotizing the masses into submission. Take Christ for example. When he broke bread in the Bible, people actually ate, it was useful to their bodies. Compare that to the politics, governments and corrupt, bumbling bureacrats and lobbyists in the economic recession of today. When they "broke bread", the economy nearly collapsed, and the benefactors thereof were only a select, decadent few. There was no bread to be had, so they asked the people for more! Breaking bread went from meaning sharing food and knowledge and wealth of mind and character, to meaning break the system, being libelous, being unaccountable, and robbing the earth. So they married people's paychecks to the land for high ransoms, rents and mortgages, effectively making any renter or landowner either a slave or a slave master once more. We have higher class toys to play with, and believe we are free. The difference is, the love of profit has the potential, and has nearly already enslaved all, it isn't restriced by culture anymore. Truth is not religion. Governments are religions. Truth does not encourage you to worship things. Governments are for profit. Truth is for progress. Governments are about process. When profit goes before progress, the latter suffers. The truest measurement of the quality of progress, will be its immediate and effective results without the aid of material profit. Quality is meticulous, it leaves no stone unturned, it is thorough and detail oriented. It takes its time, but the results are always worth the investment. Profit is quick, it is ruthless, it is unforgiving, it seeks to be first, but confuses being first with being the best, it is long scale suicidal, it is illusory, it is temporary, it is vastly unfulfilling. It breaks families, and it turns friends. It is single track minded, and small minded as well. Quality, would never do that, my friends. Ironic how dealing and concerning with money, some of those who make the most money, and break other's monies are the most unaccountable. People open bank accounts, over spend, and then expect to be held "unaccountable" for their actions. They even act innocent and unaccountable. But I tell you, everything can and will be counted, and accounted for. Peace can be had, but people must first annhilate the love of items, over their own kind.
Justin Kyle McFarlane Beau
February 26 The Past Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new.—Isaiah 43:18-19a (NASB) The past is a nice place to visit, but a terrible place to live. The Bible makes it very clear we are not to stay in the past. The words above are an emphatic “Do not”! When we focus on the past it may become very depressing. It also takes our focus off what God is doing in our life today, and what he wants to accomplish in the future. I thought of an acrostic this morning after I prayed. It is: P.A.S.T. (Pressing Ahead Saying Thanks). The past can teach us many things, some very great lessons; yet it is the future that we as believers should be concerned. Most often the past can remind us of things that were about us; while today and what lies ahead puts our focus on God, His plans, and purposes. When we don’t know what a day can bring, or what the future holds, we become more dependent on our heavenly Father. Going back in time can cause us to think more of what we had, what we did, and what we hated to release, when we really need to move on. Our walk with Jesus is just the opposite—we need to hold on to all things loosely. People, places, and things are all temporary. So let go, let God, and be expecting him to do something new. I’m so thankful God is always at work in my life doing something new. It behooves me then to do my part, to be constantly changing, moving ahead with new spiritual maturity, to prepare me for my life with Jesus and his forever kingdom. Let’s not get stuck in the past, but Press Ahead Saying Thanks for what we have learned, that equips us to move ahead. Thank You Jesus for reminding me to look ahead and find joy in You.
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
1. Commit to take the lead in the godliness of your relationship. Read the Bible's passages about how men and women and all Christians should treat one another. Especially take the lead in establishing boundaries that will keep you from sexual sin. Assume that this woman is going to be your wife or the wife of some other Christian brother (who might be currently dating your future wife). Treat her as the precious sister in Christ that she is. 2. Decide in advance whether or not you are willing to love a woman in the self-sacrificing, nurturing way the Bible describes. Until you are ready to faithfully hold a woman's heart in your hand, do not enter into a dating relationship. 3. Realizing that God wants you to learn to put her interests ahead of your own, ask her the kinds of things she likes to do and be eager to spend time doing them. 4. Be willing to talk about the relationship. Initiate honest dialogue about how you feel. Do not resent her desire to have the relationship defined, but protect her heart by making your level of commitment clear and thereby making clear the appropriate kind of intimacy to go along with that commitment. 5. Pay attention to her heart. Ask her about her burdens and cares. Seek ways to minister to her and to make her cares your own. Instead of being critical of her, speak words of encouragement and support. 6. Do not be shy in ministering the Word of God to her. Do not preach, but exhort her and call to mind God's promises and God's love for her in Jesus Christ. Make it a primary goal that she will be spiritually stronger by having been in a relationship with you. 7. If something about her bothers you, think about how you can encourage her in that area. Realize that none of us is without flaws. Pray for her weakness and try to strengthen her in that area. If your concerns are enough to deter you from wanting to marry her, let her know in a forthright manner while being as considerate as possible.
Richard D. Phillips (Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating)
To understand the New Testament we need to understand that religious past, in order to recognize what it is protesting against. Properly interpreting the New Testament - not as detached scholars but as followers of Jesus and his way - thus involves recognizing the redemptive trajectory it sets away from religious violence, and then continuing to develop and move forward along that same trajectory ourselves. In other words, we cannot stop at the place the New Testament got to, but must recognize where it was headed. A clear example of this can be seen in the institution of slavery: The New Testament takes major steps away from slavery, encouraging slaves to gain their freedom if possible (1 Cor 7:21), counseling masters to treat their slaves as Christ treats them (Eph 6:9), and, most significantly, declaring that in Christ there is “no slave or free,” that is, no concept of class or superiority (Gal 3:28). While we can recognize here a movement away from slavery that set a trajectory which would eventually lead to the complete abolition of the institution of slavery centuries later, we do not see the New Testament directly condemning slavery or calling for its abolishment. Masters are not told to give up their slaves as Christians, but simply to treat them well. Slaves are not encouraged to participate in an “underground railroad” to gain their freedom, but instead are told to submit - even in the face of the cruelty, oppression, and violence that characterized slavery in the ancient Greco-Roman world at the time. If we read the New Testament as a storehouse of eternal principles, representing a “frozen in time” ethic, where we can simply flip open a page and find what the timeless “biblical” view on any particular issue is - as so many people read the Bible today - then we would need to conclude that the institution of slavery has God’s approval in the New Testament, and that we should therefore support and maintain it today. This is in fact exactly how many American slave-owning Christians did read the Bible in the past. Yet all of us would agree today that slavery is immoral.
Derek Flood (Disarming Scripture: Cherry-Picking Liberals, Violence-Loving Conservatives, and Why We All Need to Learn to Read the Bible Like Jesus Did)
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” —Mark 1:35 2. Have an honest heart. “Call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”—Jeremiah 29:12-13 3. Open your Bible. “The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” —Hebrews 4:12 4. Have a genuine friend. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”—Hebrews 10:24-25 God has not meant for our lives to be empty. His plan is for us to live full and abundant lives (see John 10:10). As Rick Warren explains in his book The Purpose-Driven Life, “The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.”8 God did not make you to be empty. Walk with and in the purpose He has planned for you. Prayer: Father God, lift me out of a life of emptiness. You didn’t make me to be there, and that’s not where I will remain. With Your Spirit and power I will rise above this phase of emptiness and live an abundant life. Thank You for giving me a gentle whisper. Amen.   Action: If you find yourself in an empty stage of life, put into action this week the four steps that are given.   Today’s Wisdom: Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. —JEREMIAH 17:7-8
Emilie Barnes (Walk with Me Today, Lord: Inspiring Devotions for Women)
One of my best friends is LinDee Loveland, who is a Bible teacher at OCS and the children’s minister at our church. She and another friend and teacher, Mrs. Rita, were there at the hospital with us. As soon as they heard that everything had gone well, the two of them gathered all of Mia’s cousins together. “Missy, what’s Mia’s room number?” LinDee asked. I rattled it off, then quickly caught up with Jase, who was heading to the recovery room. We spent an hour in the recovery room with Mia, and when she was ready to be moved to her regular hospital room, Jase and I walked beside her gurney. When we walked into her room, I burst into tears. Mia’s room was beautiful! Several weeks before Mia’s scheduled surgery, Mrs. LinDee had asked the children at church to make snowflakes that would be given to a child who needed some encouragement. Mia even made one herself and signed it. “Each individual snowflake is special, and no two are alike,” Mrs. LinDee told them. “It’s the same way with us,” she shared. “No two people are alike. God makes everyone unique and special, with a purpose designed to glorify Him.” Later, when Mia wasn’t there, she asked all the children to make cards for Mia. When LinDee and the cousins scooted out of the waiting room, they went straight to Mia’s room and hung up the cards and the snowflakes all over her room. Mia was awake by the time she got back to her room, and when she saw the decorations, she literally oohed and ahhed. Dr. Sperry and Dr. Genecov both made the same comment when they visited Mia later. “I’ve never seen a room like this! This is the most decorated room that’s ever been in this hospital!” And Dr. Sperry summed it up beautifully: “Wow, somebody must really love you.” Having a room decorated means so much to a child--and maybe even more to a child’s parents. The fact that so many of Mia’s friends had created such exquisite, handmade snowflakes and worked so hard to make cards for her, and that Mrs. LinDee, Mrs. Rita, and all the cousins surprised us with the final display, spoke volumes to me about the way people loved Mia and our family. That expression of creativity was not only beautiful, it also touched my heart deeply.
Missy Robertson (Blessed, Blessed ... Blessed: The Untold Story of Our Family's Fight to Love Hard, Stay Strong, and Keep the Faith When Life Can't Be Fixed)
May God’s people never eat rabbit or pork (Lev. 11:6–7)? May a man never have sex with his wife during her monthly period (Lev. 18:19) or wear clothes woven of two kinds of materials (Lev. 19:19)? Should Christians never wear tattoos (Lev. 19:28)? Should those who blaspheme God’s name be stoned to death (Lev. 24:10–24)? Ought Christians to hate those who hate God (Ps. 139:21–22)? Ought believers to praise God with tambourines, cymbals, and dancing (Ps. 150:4–5)? Should Christians encourage the suffering and poor to drink beer and wine in order to forget their misery (Prov. 31:6–7)? Should parents punish their children with rods in order to save their souls from death (Prov. 23:13–14)? Does much wisdom really bring much sorrow and more knowledge more grief (Eccles. 1:18)? Will becoming highly righteous and wise destroy us (Eccles. 7:16)? Is everything really meaningless (Eccles. 12:8)? May Christians never swear oaths (Matt. 5:33–37)? Should we never call anyone on earth “father” (Matt. 23:9)? Should Christ’s followers wear sandals when they evangelize but bring no food or money or extra clothes (Mark 6:8–9)? Should Christians be exorcising demons, handling snakes, and drinking deadly poison (Mark 16:15–18)? Are people who divorce their spouses and remarry always committing adultery (Luke 16:18)? Ought Christians to share their material goods in common (Acts 2:44–45)? Ought church leaders to always meet in council to issue definitive decisions on matters in dispute (Acts 15:1–29)? Is homosexuality always a sin unworthy of the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9–10)? Should unmarried men not look for wives (1 Cor. 7:27) and married men live as if they had no wives (1 Cor. 7:29)? Is it wrong for men to cover their heads (1 Cor. 11:4) or a disgrace of nature for men to wear long hair (1 Cor. 11:14)? Should Christians save and collect money to send to believers in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:1–4)? Should Christians definitely sing psalms in church (Col. 3:16)? Must Christians always lead quiet lives in which they work with their hands (1 Thess. 4:11)? If a person will not work, should they not be allowed to eat (2 Thess. 3:10)? Ought all Christian slaves always simply submit to their masters (reminder: slavery still exists today) (1 Pet. 2:18–21)? Must Christian women not wear braided hair, gold jewelry, and fine clothes (1 Tim. 2:9; 1 Pet. 3:3)? Ought all Christian men to lift up their hands when they pray (1 Tim. 2:8)? Should churches not provide material help to widows who are younger than sixty years old (1 Tim. 5:9)? Will every believer who lives a godly life in Christ be persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12)? Should the church anoint the sick with oil for their healing (James 5:14–15)? The list of such questions could be extended.
Christian Smith (The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture)
Unqualified Champions Consider these individuals from the Bible. Each person was aware of a personal shortcoming which should have rendered him disqualified for service. God, however, saw champion potential … Moses struggled with a speech impediment: “Then Moses said to the LORD, ‘Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue’” (Exodus 4:10). Yet God served as Moses’ source of strength. God used him to deliver the Israelites from bondage. Jeremiah considered himself too young to deliver a prophetic message to an adult population: “Then I said, ‘Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth’” (Jeremiah 1:6). God’s reply: “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,” (Jeremiah 1:8). Isaiah, whose encouragement I quoted earlier, had reservations of his own. Perhaps his vocabulary reflected my own—especially my vocabulary as a teenager: “I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). Despite Isaiah’s flaws, God saw him as a man He could use to provide guidance to the nation of Judah. Paul the Apostle had, in his past, persecuted the very people to whom God would send him later. To most of us, Paul’s track record would disqualify him for use. But God brought change to Paul’s heart and redemption to his fervency. Samson squandered his potential through poor life choices. As I read about him, I can’t help but think, “The guy acted like a spoiled brat.” But God had placed a call on his life. Though Samson sank to life’s darkest depths—captors blinded him and placed him in slavery—at the end of his life, he turned his heart toward God and asked to be used for God’s purposes. God used Samson to bring deliverance to the Israelites. Do you feel like the least qualified, the least important, the least regarded? Perhaps your reward is yet to come. God has high regard for those who are the least. Jesus said, “For the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great” (Luke 9:48) and “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first” (Matthew 19:30). If heaven includes strategic positioning among God’s people, which I believe it will, that positioning will be ego-free and based on a humble heart. Those of high position in God’s eyes don’t focus on position. They focus on hearts: their own hearts before God, and the hearts of others loved by God. When we get to heaven, I believe many people’s positions of responsibility will surprise us. What if, in heaven, the some of today’s most accomplished individuals end up reporting to someone who cried herself to sleep at night—yet kept her heart pure before God? According to Jesus in Matthew 6:5, some rewards are given in full before we reach heaven. When He spoke those words, He referred to hypocritical religious leaders as an example. Could we be in for a heavenly surprise? I believe many who are last today—the ultimate servants—will be first in heaven. God sees things differently than we do.
John Herrick (8 Reasons Your Life Matters)
Making A Connection With The Word Of God Now that we’ve discussed the various methods of memorizing, we will move on to what is necessary to prepare for the memorization session itself. When you’re preparing to memorize the first thing that you need to do is read the text to make sure you understand it. It is easier to retain and recall what you memorized if you have full comprehension of what the scriptures are saying. Therefore it is always good to read the scriptures first. When you memorize focus on the meaning of the scripture that it may remain true to you. When you read the word of God certain things will jump out at you. This is God speaking to you through the pages. By memorizing what speaks out to you, you have a heartfelt association linked to the memory. Similar to peg and memorization by association, having a deep heartfelt connection to what you memorize gives your mind something extra to grab onto. It is infinitely more powerful to have a personal heart felt attachment to the verses in order to be able to recall it at the most practical or emotional times. Whereas other methods require a silly mental image or the smell of bacon to associate a verse with which has no emotional connection with you. If we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength then we also should love His word by which we are saved. If then we love His word we will have the heartfelt connection necessary to practically apply the scriptures in a daily walk with Him. However if we do not have a heartfelt connection with the word of God, then we will not apply it at the appropriate times and thus our walks with God will be hindered. Rather than using the other seemingly ridiculous memorizing methods that are out there it is better to focus on the meaning while retaining it for later use. Seeing that it has a special place in your heart you will be able to more accurately recall it at the most necessary times. This is why I teach that you should only memorize what is jumping out at you from the pages. When this happens God is speaking to you through the pages for your daily walk. He uses life experiences mixed with teaching from His “text book” (the bible) to teach you. If then God uses this method to help you retain the scripture and the meaning behind it, shouldn't we also apply it when memorizing? Whatever God is teaching you at the time, He will compare the scriptures to your experiences in life that you’re currently going through. Even as it is written, “These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1Co 2:13  Understanding this it is good to memorize the subject He is giving us to learn. It will have practical, heartfelt meaning for you and for what you’re going through now. As a result because the meaning was associated with your heart, every time you need to recall this scripture accurately it will pop back up in your mind. A walk with God in His Spirit and His word must be heartfelt. Therefore Beloved, take the time to memorize what God is teaching you. Whatever is speaking true to the current situations of your life, memorize. These current situations God will use for lessons for growth, a troubling situation to overcome, or maybe a doctrinal dispute. If you’re learning new lessons then it’s good to remember these things as a good student of God. If it’s something to overcome always memorize what God has encouraged you with.
Adam Houge (How To Memorize The Bible Quick And Easy In 5 Simple Steps)
In Romans 12:4-8, Paul writes about gifts: “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.” Recognize that the gifts inside you are not only for you; just as the gifts inside other people around you are not only for them. We are meant to help each other. God designed us this way on purpose! All being members of one body, our successes are shared — there is no need to be threatened by another person’s gift. Use your gifts, and encourage the people in your life to use their gifts as well. You will be blessed as a result! Unfortunately, one thing that keeps us from asking for help or taking advantage of the talents in people around us is pride. Never allow pride to keep you from asking for counsel when it is needed! 1 Corinthians 12:20 is another passage about gifts: “now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ ” We need each other, and joining our gifts together will result in a much stronger body. If you have time, read 1 Corinthians 12:4-20. Reflect on how there can be unity in the diversity of gifts if we use our different gifts properly. Determine that you will not be threatened by anyone else’s gifts! Esther was not afraid of the gifts in the people around her. Let’s see how she responds to the wisdom of others today. And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her. Esther 2:11 Every day, Mordecai goes to the palace gates to inquire after Esther and learn of what was happening to her. He goes to the palace gates with purpose. He paces in front of the women’s court until he has learns the day’s news about Esther. Even though she is no longer under his roof, he stills feels a strong responsibility toward her, and acts accordingly. He is a faithful man, and has set a great example before Esther. The news that he hears concerning Esther daily must be good: her inward beauty and submission to authority are two of the many wonderful traits that God placed in her so that she will be effective in Persia. Even though Esther is in an unfamiliar place and experiencing “firsts” every day in the palace, God is making sure she has what she needs. Esther did not need to feel nervous! She needed wise counsel; it has been provided for her in Mordecai and Hegai. She needs a pleasant and patient personality; that has been being developed in her by the Lord for many years. In your own life, you are constantly undergoing change and growth as you are submitting to the Lord. Whether or not you can see it, God is continually preparing you for what lies ahead so that you will have what you need when you need it. The God who loves you so much knows your future, and He is preparing you today for what you will experience tomorrow. Esther is receiving what she needs as well. She is in the palace undergoing her beauty preparations — a twelve month process! Even through this extended period of time, Mordecai is still at the palace gates every day (the Bible does not say that he stopped his concern for her at any point). It is an entire
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
But won’t political involvement distract us from the main task of preaching the Gospel? At this point someone may object that while political involvement may have some benefits and may do some good, it can so easily distract us, turn unbelievers away from the church, and cause us to neglect the main task of pointing people toward personal trust in Christ. John MacArthur writes, “When the church takes a stance that emphasizes political activism and social moralizing, it always diverts energy and resources away from evangelization.”83 Yet the proper question is not, “Does political influence take resources away from evangelism?” but, “Is political influence something God has called us to do?” If God has called some of us to some political influence, then those resources would not be blessed if we diverted them to evangelism—or to the choir, or to teaching Sunday School to children, or to any other use. In this matter, as in everything else the church does, it would be healthy for Christians to realize that God may call individual Christians to different emphases in their lives. This is because God has placed in the church “varieties of gifts” (1 Cor. 12:4) and the church is an entity that has “many members” but is still “one body” (v. 12). Therefore God might call someone to devote almost all of his or her time to the choir, someone else to youth work, someone else to evangelism, someone else to preparing refreshments to welcome visitors, and someone else to work with lighting and sound systems. “But if Jim places all his attention on the sound system, won’t that distract the church from the main task of preaching the Gospel?” No, not at all. That is not what God has called Jim to emphasize (though he will certainly share the Gospel with others as he has opportunity). Jim’s exclusive focus on the church’s sound system means he is just being a faithful steward in the responsibility God has given him. In the same way, I think it is entirely possible that God called Billy Graham to emphasize evangelism and say nothing about politics and also called James Dobson to emphasize a radio ministry to families and to influencing the political world for good. Aren’t there enough Christians in the world for us to focus on more than one task? And does God not call us to thousands of different emphases, all in obedience to him? But the whole ministry of the church will include both emphases. And the teaching ministry from the pulpit should do nothing less than proclaim “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). It should teach, over the course of time, on all areas of life and all areas of Bible knowledge. That certainly must include, to some extent, what the Bible says about the purposes of civil government and how that teaching should apply to our situations today. This means that in a healthy church we will find that some people emphasize influencing the government and politics, others emphasize influencing the business world, others emphasize influencing the educational system, others entertainment and the media, others marriage and the family, and so forth. When that happens, it seems to me that we should encourage, not discourage, one another. We should adopt the attitude toward each other that Paul encouraged in the church at Rome: Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God…. So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother (Rom. 14:10–13). For several different reasons, then, I think the view that says the church should just “do evangelism, not politics” is incorrect.
Wayne Grudem (Politics - According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture)
Adventists urged to study women’s ordination for themselves Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson appealed to members to study the Bible regarding the theology of ordination as the Church continues to examine the matter at Annual Council next month and at General Conference Session next year. Above, Wilson delivers the Sabbath sermon at Annual Council last year. [ANN file photo] President Wilson and TOSC chair Stele also ask for prayers for Holy Spirit to guide proceedings September 24, 2014 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Andrew McChesney/Adventist Review Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, appealed to church members worldwide to earnestly read what the Bible says about women’s ordination and to pray that he and other church leaders humbly follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance on the matter. Church members wishing to understand what the Bible teaches on women’s ordination have no reason to worry about where to start, said Artur A. Stele, who oversaw an unprecedented, two-year study on women’s ordination as chair of the church-commissioned Theology of Ordination Study Committee. Stele, who echoed Wilson’s call for church members to read the Bible and pray on the issue, recommended reading the study’s three brief “Way Forward Statements,” which cite Bible texts and Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White to support each of the three positions on women’s ordination that emerged during the committee’s research. The results of the study will be discussed in October at the Annual Council, a major business meeting of church leaders. The Annual Council will then decide whether to ask the nearly 2,600 delegates of the world church to make a final call on women’s ordination in a vote at the General Conference Session next July. Wilson, speaking in an interview, urged each of the church’s 18 million members to prayerfully read the study materials, available on the website of the church’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research. "Look to see how the papers and presentations were based on an understanding of a clear reading of Scripture,” Wilson said in his office at General Conference headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. “The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that we are to take the Bible just as it reads,” he said. “And I would encourage each church member, and certainly each representative at the Annual Council and those who will be delegates to the General Conference Session, to prayerfully review those presentations and then ask the Holy Spirit to help them know God’s will.” The Spirit of Prophecy refers to the writings of White, who among her statements on how to read the Bible wrote in The Great Controversy (p. 598), “The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed.” “We don’t have the luxury of having the Urim and the Thummim,” Wilson said, in a nod to the stones that the Israelite high priest used in Old Testament times to learn God’s will. “Nor do we have a living prophet with us. So we must rely upon the Holy Spirit’s leading in our own Bible study as we review the plain teachings of Scripture.” He said world church leadership was committed to “a very open, fair, and careful process” on the issue of women’s ordination. Wilson added that the crucial question facing the church wasn’t whether women should be ordained but whether church members who disagreed with the final decision on ordination, whatever it might be, would be willing to set aside their differences to focus on the church’s 151-year mission: proclaiming Revelation 14 and the three angels’ messages that Jesus is coming soon. 3 Views on Women’s Ordination In an effort to better understand the Bible’s teaching on ordination, the church established the Theology of Ordination Study Committee, a group of 106 members commonly referred to by church leaders as TOSC. It was not organized
Many of the psalms teach us how to sing the blues.  God provided those songs and prayers for us, because he knows we live in this kind of messy, broken world.  When we suffer and it doesn’t really matter how, sometimes it’s hard to find the right words.  We want to pray and speak to God, but we can’t get the words.  God gives us the right words, the perfect words, and he gives them in a form that speaks to the heart – in poetry that’s meant to be set to music.  When you suffer, let me encourage you to open your Bible or your Book of Praise to the psalms and use those prayers to speak the words you need.  Pray and let your gracious God give you the words.
A woman who speaks words of encouragement and has an attitude of contentment is inviting; she draws people to her, even if she faces times of crisis and pain.
Anonymous (New Women's Devotional Bible)
Eaten bread must not be forgotten. God's miracles and mercies are to be had in everlasting remembrance, for our encouragement to trust in him at all times.
Matthew Henry (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (Unabridged))
White encouraged Updike’s equally scrupulous commitment. They bonded over dashes, colons, and commas—most amazingly in an exchange of letters in the last two months of 1954 concerning two poems, “The Sunflower” and “The Clan.” She wanted to make his punctuation consistent; he wanted to make his light verse flow in a manner pleasing to the ear and the eye. When he suggested changes to the proof of “Sunflower”—literally begging for a colon rather than a dash at the end of a particular line (“A colon is compact, firm, and balanced: a dash is sprawling, wishy-washy, and gawky. The colon suggests the Bible: the dash letters and memoirs of fashionable ladies”)—she replied with a three-page “treatise on punctuation” and a transcription of the relevant paragraph from H. W. Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (the standard reference at The New Yorker, thanks to Harold Ross, who always kept a copy handy). She urged him to “try to feel more kindly toward the dash”—and closed with characteristic graciousness: “I want to add that I am delighted to find anyone who cares as much as this about punctuation and who is as careful as you are about your verse. . . . And I thank you for a very interesting and amusing letter.
Adam Begley (Updike)
I wouldn’t encourage anyone to believe in a God of heaven if we had no evidence to support that He exists as the Bible says He does. The reason I teach belief in God is that, again and again, I have found Him to be astoundingly believable.
Beth Moore (Believing God Day by Day: Growing Your Faith All Year Long)
5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Anonymous (Holy Bible Text Edition NLT: New Living Translation)
It is absurd and dangerous to imagine that God would have approved and encouraged the moderate use of a substance which intoxicates our organism, irrespective of the amount consumed.
Samuele Bacchiocchi (Wine in the Bible (Abridged): A Biblical Study on the Use of Alcoholic Beverages (Abridged))
I am not sure what you are going through. I don’t know the problem you are facing and I might not even understand, but I know that God won’t fail you and God will help you, trust in him. Luke 18:27 Jeremiah 32:17
De philosopher DJ Kyos
God’s work in creation is a similar affair, and if there’s an encouraging aside to take from this story so far (a lesson that recurs throughout the Bible), it’s that God is drawn to the broken and neglected things, and does the miraculous with them.
Tristan Sherwin (Living the Dream?: The Problem with Escapist, Exhibitionist, Empire-Building Christianity)
And this mother of all churches was dedicated to Sophia, Holy Wisdom. The word sophia in Greek originally meant a kind of practical skill. Characters in Homer were described as sophos – wise – if they could tame a horse, or build a boat. This sense continues into late antiquity, personified as Lady Wisdom. Not only does Lady Wisdom allow a mystical, distinctly sensuous appreciation of the world and its mysteries; she encourages a foot-forward, practical engagement with it. This is the wisdom of the streets and of women, not just of men in their study halls. Sophia appears as a fleeting character in the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament, as well as in numerous popular religious writings. Lady Wisdom is more frequently found in the Apocrypha – religious works that were often believed to contain inconvenient truths and so were exiled from canonical texts. For many Christians Sophia was understood to be a kind of sublime force which had birthed Jesus himself. Sophia might not have ended up in the canon, but she was a popular and populist notion in both antiquity and the medieval world. Our word wisdom and Sophia share a common, prehistoric sense – the Proto-Indo-European root suggests a clear-sighted understanding of the world. The Sophia church was also dedicated to the Logos – the Word – the manifest and recondite Wisdom of God. So this great building was made up not just of bricks and mortar but of an idea – an imaginative understanding of the eternal power of both masculine and feminine ways of being wise, of the possibilities of negotiating the world with both mind and mystery. It is a remarkable statement from a building at the heart of the city that considered itself the heart of the world. In the Hebrew Bible Sophia’s equivalent Hokhma is described in Proverbs 8 as being ‘better than rubies, and all the things that may be desired . . . I am understanding . . . set up from everlasting, from the beginning . . . whoso findeth me findeth life’. The building of Haghia Sophia was not just a placatory offering to the divine; it was an answer.
Bettany Hughes (Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities)
24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (without Cross-References))
God’s Word is the most critical tool you could use. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. This means that God spoke to everyone that wrote a book in the Bible on what he wanted an account of. In the same manner, God has inspired me to write this book and has helped me to know what to include. Scripture is meant to edify, teach, correct, encourage, inspire, and give hope to all who hear and read it. Throughout this book I have shared scripture to back up what I was saying. God reveals things in scripture to those who seek it out. You can read the same passage of scripture for years, and then one day it seems a light bulb goes on. He will show you something deeper about that verse. God is multifaceted. He is not limited to one way of speaking to you, nor does he limit His Word to one message. What I mean by that is one scripture can teach you something, and then at another time, God may reveal even more meaning to that scripture. It is like there are layers to passages of scripture, just as you may pull back layers of wallpaper. Each layer is different and reveals a bit more. As you seek to draw closer to God, He will start to peel back those layers and teach you more and more, as you are able to receive it. If you are new to reading the Bible, it may seem a bit intimidating at first. Where do you start? What should you read? I suggest researching scripture that applies to what you are going through. If you are suffering from fear, then research fear. Once you have found some scriptures, read a few of the verses before and after the verse you chose to help you learn the context in which it was written. You may also want to read from Proverbs daily, consider the Psalms and the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. May I also suggest you consider finding a Bible study group to join or at the very least purchase a beginner’s Bible study guide. Next, choose a few of the scriptures you researched that really spoke to you and write them down on a 3x5 index card. Or you may want to print each verse out on a sheet of paper. Then hang them up where you will see them, such as your bathroom mirror, above your desk at home, or even throughout your house. If you can, take a few to work with you. Each day, multiple times a day, speak those scriptures out loud. I suggest at a minimum speak them when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed at night. The spoken Word is so powerful. As I mentioned before, it is a weapon against the devil. He loses power every time you speak scripture. It also triggers your mind to believe what you say. That is why it is so important to be very careful about anything you speak. Negative thoughts start to become real to you when you speak them. These steps are things I have practiced through the years and found them to be very helpful. If you are struggling with multiple negative thoughts, it may be easier to find scripture for one at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to deal with everything at once. You can switch out the verses or add to them as time goes on. Do what works for you.
Kathy Bates (Broken Spirit to Boundless Joy: How to Break Through Your Hurts and Take Back Your Life)
We are not to try to get revenge for evil that is done to us. Paul reminds us that vengeance belongs to the Lord. The Lord will repay people for their evil doings. It is not our place to try to get revenge. He encourages us to repay evil with good and, by doing so, those who mistreated us will be ashamed of the way they acted.
Deborah H. Bateman (God Is Love (Daily-Bible-Reading Series))
What is God?” and answers, “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.
Gordon J. Keddie (Prayers of the Bible: 366 Devotionals to Encourage Your Prayer Life)
In our confessions, he was never overbearing with the canon; all his spiritual canons were moderate….He gave freedom; for one he would instruct him in short prayers, “O my Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon me,” for another who liked to pray the agpeya [canonical] prayers he would instruct him to do so. [Fr. Mina] would remove conceit and complexes from a person, by showing him how to live in simplicity. He didn’t overburden people with more than what the Church recommends….He who loved hymns would be with him day and night chanting, he who loved the Holy Bible would study it day and night, he who loved psalmody would praise day and night he encouraged those who loved to serve…supporting them with supplies and money. He used to give us money for the Sunday school service and for the area of Old Cairo… —Abdelmessih Bishara (1923-2000), university study, eventually becoming Bishop Athanasius of Beni Suef, speaking on Fr. Kyrillos
Daniel Fanous (A Silent Patriarch)
The internet trains us to skim instead of read. It also encourages what cognitive scientists call “task switching,” a practice of shifting your attention from one thing to another.
Drew Dyck (Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science (A Guide for Sinners, Quitters, and Procrastinators))
city and spoke  m encouragingly to them, saying, 7 n “Be strong and courageous.  o Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him,  p for there are more with us than with him. 8With him is  q an arm of flesh,  r but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
PHILIPPIANS 2 [†]So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from  f love, any  g participation in the Spirit, any  h affection and sympathy, 2 i complete my joy by being  j of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
Anonymous (ESV Study Bible)
Surprisingly, part of the attack which humanity is undergoing, is the flow of a concept into people’s minds that true spirituality is something that brings with it warm, relaxed and good feelings. The beings attacking humanity want human beings to believe in the simple, easy going perusal of the Gospels, an approach beloved by most religious denominations and sects today. At the same time (it must be remembered that the enemy is sophisticated), another part of humanity is being encouraged by these evil beings to believe in a literal reading and interpretation of the Bible. This orthodox approach is just as dangerous as a completely atheistic and materialistic view of the world.
Laurence Galian (Alien Parasites: 40 Gnostic Truths to Defeat the Archon Invasion!)
HEAVENLY FATHER, please give me the right words to speak, words that will satisfy the soul of every listener. Let my words encourage and not discourage those who hear me speak. Help my tongue to nourish life and not to kill. And perhaps most important of all, help me to encourage others to be encouragers.
Cheri Fuller (The One Year Praying through the Bible (One Year Bible))
Better still, the Bible ends with an offer of grace. The very last line, Revelation 22:21 reads, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (NKJV). We are alive by the grace of God through Jesus, so we should be willing to give grace to others when they don’t live up to our expectations. We will never live up to Jesus’s expectations and that’s why we need His grace that abounds for us more and more every day. —
Guideposts (Mornings with Jesus 2020: Daily Encouragement for Your Soul)
If you’re a Christian suffering with great pains and losses, Jesus says, “Be of good cheer” (John 16:33, NKJV). The new house is nearly ready for you. Moving day is coming. The dark winter is about to be magically transformed into spring. One day soon you will be home—for the first time. Until then, I encourage you to meditate on the Bible’s truths about Heaven. May your imagination soar and your heart rejoice.
Randy Alcorn (Heaven)
No one emerges from the ending of a marriage without scars. Divorce is never God’s perfect choice. But we also know that our greatest hurts and our greatest losses can be the seed for our greatest spiritual growth. A strong support system can help the victim of divorce move toward healing and begin a new life. Programs offered in many churches provide small-group encouragement and an accompanying program for children.
Walk Thru the Bible (Journey Day by Day: Living Life Well)
5May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Anonymous (ESV Daily Reading Bible)
•    Be an intentional blessing to someone. Devote yourself to caring for others. Even when your own needs begin to dominate your attention, set aside time daily to tune in to others. Pray for their specific needs and speak blessings to those you encounter each day. Make them glad they met you.     •    Seek joy. Each morning ask yourself, “Where will the joy be today?” and then look for it. Look high and low—in misty sunbeams, your favorite poem, the kind eyes of your caretaker, dew-touched spiderwebs, fluffy white clouds scuttling by, even extra butterflies summoned by heaven just to make you smile.     •    Prepare love notes. When energy permits, write, videotape, or audiotape little messages of encouragement to children, grandchildren, and friends for special occasions in their future. Reminders of your love when you won’t be there to tell them yourself. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to present your messages at the right time, labeled, “For my granddaughter on her wedding day,” “For my beloved friend’s sixty-fifth birthday,” or “For my dear son and daughter-in-law on their golden anniversary.”     •    Pass on your faith. Purchase a supply of Bibles and in the front flap of each one, write a personal dedication to the child or grandchild, friend, or neighbor you intend to give it to. Choose a specific book of the Bible (the Gospels are a great place to start) and read several chapters daily, writing comments in the margin of how this verse impacted your life or what that verse means to you. Include personal notes or prayers for the recipient related to highlighted scriptures. Your words will become a precious keepsake of faith for generations to come. (*Helpful hint: A Bible with this idea in mind might make a thoughtful gift for a loved one standing at the threshold of eternity. Not only will it immerse the person in the comforting balm of scripture, but it will give him or her a very worthwhile project that will long benefit those he or she loves.)     •    Make love your legacy. Emily Dickinson said, “Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.” Ask yourself, “What will people remember most about me?” Meditate on John 15:12: “Love each other as I have loved you” (NIV). Tape it beside your bed so it’s the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning.     •    “Remember that God loves you and will see you through it.
Debora M. Coty (Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate: Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life's Worries)
Open up your eyes for me people, the prophecies are true and the beast is real.
Jonathan Anthony Burkett
17You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, 18defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.
Anonymous (Holy Bible (NIV), Red Letter Edition)
Nothing has a greater impact on spiritual growth than reflection on Scripture. If churches could do only one thing to help people at all levels of spiritual maturity grow in their relationship with Christ, their choice is clear. They would inspire, encourage, and equip their people to read the Bible—specifically, to reflect on Scripture for meaning in their lives. The numbers say most churches are missing the mark—because only one out of five congregants reflects on Scripture every day.
Greg L. Hawkins (Move: What 1000 Churches Reveal About Spiritual Growth)
The greatest literature is the Biblical stories.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
EXHORTATIONS AND GREETINGS. [2 Cor. 13:11–13] Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Anonymous (The Daily Bible® -- in Chronological Order (NIV®))
God constantly uses the lives of Bible characters to teach us, to encourage us, to warn us.
Charles R. Swindoll (Joseph: A Man of Integrity and Forgiveness (Great Lives Series))
The Bible is not a weapon, a sword to be wielded today against modern-day Canaanites or Babylonians. It is a book where we meet God. It brings hope, encouragement, knowledge, and deep truth for those willing to risk, to 'die' to themselves, as Jesus puts it, to accept the challenge of scripture, knowing they will be undone in the process. That journey is lifelong, marked by discipline and humility, to know the Bible intimately with agility and gentleness--an arena of spiritual growth, for love of God and humanity, not for World Bible Extreme Cagefighting.
Peter Enns
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (without Cross-References))
The Bible teaches us to be persistent, to never give up, to keep asking, seeking, and knocking. We can use our work or our vocation to spread joy, love, and hope.
Mark S. Milwee (Encouragement From the Heart of a Shepherd)
Religious practice in the Land of the Bible tends to encourage exclusivity and discrimination rather than love and magnanimity. There is no place like the Holy Land to make one cynical about religion.
Raja Shehadeh (Palestinian Walks: Forays into a Vanishing Landscape)
The New England wilderness March 1, 1704 Temperature 10 degrees She had no choice but to go to him. She set Daniel down. Perhaps they would spare Daniel. Perhaps only she was to be burned. She forced herself to keep her chin up, her eyes steady and her steps even. How could she be afraid of going where her five-year-old brother had gone first? O Tommy, she thought, rest in the Lord. Perhaps you are with Mother now. Perhaps I will see you in a moment. She did not want to die. Her footsteps crunched on the snow. Nobody spoke. Nobody moved. The Indian handed Mercy a slab of cornmeal bread, and then beckoned to Daniel, who cried, “Oh, good, I’m so hungry!” and came running, his happy little face tilted in a smile at the Indian who fed him. “Mercy said we’d eat later,” Daniel confided in the Indian. The English trembled in their relief and the French laughed. The Indian knelt beside Daniel, tossing aside Tommy’s jacket and dressing Daniel in warm clean clothing from another child. Nobody in Deerfield owned many clothes, and if she permitted herself to think about it, Mercy would know whose trousers and shirt these were, but she did not want to think about what dead child did not need clothes, so she said to the Indian, “Who are you? What’s your name?” He understood. Putting the palm of his hand against his chest, he said, “Tannhahorens.” She could just barely separate the syllables. It sounded more like a duck quacking than a real word. “Tannhahorens,” he said again, and she repeated it after him. She wondered what it meant. Indian names had to make a picture. She smiled carefully at the man she had thought was going to burn her alive as an example and said, “I’ll be right back, Tannhahorens.” She took a few steps away, and when he did nothing, she ran to her family. Her uncle swept her into his arms. How wonderful his scratchy beard felt! How strong and comforting his hug! “My brave girl,” he whispered, kissing her hair. “Mercy, they won’t let me help you.” In a voice as childish and puzzled as Daniel’s, he added, “They won’t let me help your aunt Mary, or Will and Little Mary either. I tried to help your brothers and got whipped for it.” He stammered: Uncle Nathaniel, whose reading choices from the Bible were always about war, and whose voice made every battle exciting. He needed her comfort as much as she needed his. “Uncle Nathaniel,” she said, “if I had done better, Tommy and Marah--” “Hush,” said her uncle. “The Lord set a task before you and you obeyed. Daniel is your task. Say your prayers as you march.” In a tight little pack behind Uncle Nathaniel stood her three living brothers. How small and cold they looked. Sam lifted his chin to encourage his sister and said, “At least we’re together. Do the best you can, Mercy. So will we.” They stared at each other, the two closest in age, and Mercy thought how proud their mother would be of Sam. “Mercy,” cried her brother John, panicking, “you have to go! Go fast,” he said urgently. “Your Indian is pointing at you.” Tannhahorens was watching her but not signaling. He isn’t angry, thought Mercy. I don’t have to be afraid, but I do have to return. “Find out your Indian’s name,” she said to her brothers. “It helps. Call him by name.” She took the time to hug and kiss each brother. How narrow their little shoulders; how thin the cloth that must keep them from freezing. She had to go before she wept. Indians did not care for crying. “Be strong, Uncle Nathaniel,” she said, touching the strange collar around his neck. “Don’t tug it,” he said wryly. “It’s lined with porcupine quill tips. If I don’t move at the right speed, the Indians give my leash a twitch and the needles jab my throat.” The boys laughed, pantomiming a hard jerk on the cord, and Mercy said, “You’re all just as mean as you ever were!” “And alive,” said Sam. When they hugged once more, she felt a tremor in him, deep and horrified, but under control.
Caroline B. Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter)
When the Bible offends you, be encouraged that it offends everyone at some point. Consider the responsibility of the Bible. It must speak the truth to every culture through every era of history. I believe that there has never been a culture on earth that has not been offended by the Bible on some issue. What offends one group could be common sense to another and vice versa. Some cultures are offended that God would judge people for their sin. Some cry out to God to judge people because of sin. There are some cultures that are appalled at how God would forgive people no matter what they have done. For other cultures, that kind of forgiveness is expected of God.
Jon Morrison
Rather than defending the Gospels against their (self-evident) diversity, we should be asking ourselves why they are different at all. Why are there four versions of Jesus’s life out there? I can think of a few reasons why these differences exist. No one was taking notes as Jesus was talking, and so the stories got jumbled by the time they went from oral to written form. And we humans have faulty memories and “remember” events differently. But I think the main reason they differ so much is this. Each Gospel writer took it upon himself to shape—not simply report—the story of Jesus the way he saw fit, to present Jesus not as an academic exercise in historical accuracy, but as a way of encouraging and strengthening the community for which he was writing. To put it another way, each Gospel is its own unique retelling of the life of Jesus centered on the needs of each writer’s community of faith.
Peter Enns (How the Bible Actually Works: In Which I Explain How An Ancient, Ambiguous, and Diverse Book Leads Us to Wisdom Rather Than Answers—and Why That’s Great News)
Father, I don’t want my spouse’s heart to be hardened by my negativity. Please help me to encourage through my loving, encouraging words. I see so much in my loved one that is good, and I need to say so. Thank you for affirming me through the loving words I read in the Bible.
Gary Chapman (The 30-Day Love Language Minute Devotional Volume 1)
God’s Word, wielded by the Holy Spirit, has the power to sort us out spiritually, to surprise and confront us, growing us in relationship with our Lord Christ. Thus, reading the Bible ought to at once be as encouraging as a mother’s gentle touch and, at moments, as unsettling and disturbing as a violent storm.
George H. Guthrie (Biblical Greek Exegesis: A Graded Approach to Learning Intermediate and Advanced Greek)
The wrap dress is a very flattering style on any body type. You just need to make sure you fit the shoulders, and the rest of the dress takes care of itself. It makes women look feminine, pulled together, and at ease in the world. I encourage all women who are trying to update their work wardrobes to invest in a couple of flattering wrap dresses. It’s easy, one-step-dressing: it travels well, and it’s easy to care for. With a wrap dress and heels – a complete outfit that can fit in the average purse – you’re all set for a business meeting or dinner date.
Tim Gunn (Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet)
So please remember that when discouragement comes from any source, it isn’t God sending it your way! Immediately reject it, and if you have no other source of encouragement, do what David did. The Bible says that he encouraged himself in the Lord. When you feel yourself starting to lose courage, talk to yourself! Tell yourself that you have made it through difficulties in the past and you will make it again. Remind yourself of past victories. Make a list of your blessings and read them out loud anytime you feel yourself starting to sink emotionally.
Joyce Meyer (The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Inspirations)
So, when negative, fearful, or debilitating thoughts are being entertained in your mind, the key to overcoming them is to start speaking positive, faith-filled words, out loud, out of your own mouth. Yes, I know what you're thinking, "That's crazy!" You might be a little confused if you’ve never spent time learning the power of words. The Bible says, “David encouraged himself in the Lord” (1 Samuel 30: 6, KJV). Interview any successful person and they'll tell you how important positive self-talk is to your success.
Terri Savelle Foy (5 Things Successful People Do Before 8 A.M.)
All we can do is work on our own delight. And encourage others' delight. Teach with the sort of passion that marks the best teachers.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
Even though you cannot remember all you have read, or understand it all, go on reading. The very practice of reading in itself will have a purifying effect upon your mind and heart. Let nothing take the place of this daily exercise. Scripture memorized can come to mind when you do not have your Bible with you—on sleepless nights, when driving a car, traveling, when having to make an instantaneous important decision. It comforts, guides, corrects, encourages—all we need is there. Memorize as much as you can.
Billy Graham (Unto the Hills: A Daily Devotional)
Introduction This book is devoted to the blessed Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Daily working together as unified Godhead for our best interest. Would be incomplete without Jesus direct love bestowed upon me, through a perpetual act of faith in God. Fully trusting Jesus to lead me into a carefully laid-out plan. Dedicating this book to my children: Faith is 6, Christian 11, Christina 12 years old. Izzabella, my niece, is also featured in the story, Sally Saved Three Times. These Children are the inspiration for the characters in the stories. Added some personal experiences acquired during my childhood. Appreciate the support of my Mom, Dad, brother, Jacob, for being here for me the last five years. They helped me through hard circumstances when I needed them the most. Thank You! My second family is at the Erie Wesleyan Methodist Church on the corner of 29th and Liberty. They covered my life with prayer; great friends from the Lord; Supporting me on my journey towards my heavenly home. I am also thankful for Mike Lawrence who encouraged me to keep writing. Thanks, brother! This spectacular close friend of mine wrote the Forward of this book. He is God-given for moral support and prayer. Friends forever from Erie, Pennsylvania! There are scripture references, along with Bible lessons featured in each story. These short stories are ideal for devotions or bedtime stories. Suitable for parents and grandparents to read to children, grandchildren. Forward It is rare today to find Christians who are in love with doing the Lord's service. Many would sit to the side and let others bush-wack the path, but Bryan has always been the one who delights in making the way clear for others. His determination, commitment to producing these writings was encouraging to watch come to fruition. Take time now see for yourself how God is directing these works to provide something sincere, pure, innocent for families to enjoy. A pleasant respite from a sin-sick world. So, please, feel free to find a quiet place today and enjoy them alone or with your family. This body of work calls upon us to take time to be holy. I believe with all my heart that this is the authors intent, the Lord's plan, my hearts prayer that they bless you as much as they have blessed me. May God bless the time and energies sacrificed by the author in its production. Sincerely in Christ, Michael Lawrence. When writing with Shirley Dye on messenger about editing the book, she commented that this book would be a blessing to many people. That is my solemn humble prayer. Short Story Content 1. Mr. B.G. (My Testimony) 2. Trevor Wins Three Times 3. Winning The Man ON Rock-Hill 4. Sally Saved Three Times 5. Jonathan and Family Find God 6. Upright and Prideful Key Text, (Matthew 18:3), “And (Jesus) said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Bryan Guras (Kids Following Jesus: One Step At A Time)
who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Anonymous (ESV Classic Reference Bible)
15For this we declare to you  k by a word from the Lord, [4] that  l we who are alive, who are left until  m the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For  n the Lord himself will descend  o from heaven  p with a cry of command, with the voice of  q an archangel, and  r with the sound of the trumpet of God. And  s the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be  t caught up together with them  u in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so  v we will always be with the Lord. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Anonymous (ESV Classic Reference Bible)
Calling students on the first day of school and praying for them. Sending students photos taken of them at youth group events. (Always get double prints.) Dropping by their workplaces just to say hi. Attending the last quarter, inning, or set of their games. (Although you can drop by earlier, coming at the end affords the opportunity to interact with your students after-ward.) Mailing favorite snacks to arrive on their birthdays. Calling students' parents just to brag on them. (e.g.,“Mrs. Gates, your son Billy is doing some amazing things with computer graphics for our small groups!”) Taping notes of encouragement to the front door during exams or other stressful periods. (Ring the doorbell and disappear.) Actually taping notes of encouragement directly on students. Inviting students over for dinner. Letting a group of (same-sex) students spend the night. Following up a few days after a student shares a prayer request. Using your students as positive illustrations in your message or Bible study. (It's always a good idea to get permission first.) Mailing goofy postcards for no reason. Dropping off brain food (a double cheeseburger) the night before a big test. Asking students—on a one-to-one basis—to pray for you. Remembering students’ names
Doug Fields (Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry: A Personal and Practical Guide to Starting Right)
We know Job's faith survived because his reaction to his devastating loss was to worship God: "Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord'" (Job 1:20-21). Let me encourage you and your messed up man, should he be willing, to begin to worship God from your place of brokenness. Tina shares a dramatic story from her work as a music therapist for hospice. One day, as she prepared to leave the hospice floor at the hospital, a nurse called her back to work with a patient in respiratory arrest. Music therapists use music to match the beat of a patient's heart rate, and as the therapist slows down the beat of music, most of the time the heart rate follows, as well as the breathing. At the start of the process, the patient's wife shouted, "Sing 'Amazing Grace'?" Deciding to minister rather than work, Tina sang "Amazing Grace." The patient's distress was overwhelming. He could hardly take in air, and his chest heaved while his wife wept. Right in the middle of "Amazing Grace," The wife once more blurted out, "Sing 'Jesus Loves Me'!" Tina, switched gears and sang, "Yes, Jesus loves me." Tears streamed down the man's cheeks as he sang with her, "Yes, Jesus loves me." His words were broken and he could hardly say them, but in that moment, he worshiped the God who was about to take him home. Whatever you're facing . . . worship.
Tina Samples (Messed Up Men of the Bible)
The doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture has several practical applications to our Christian lives. The following list is intended to be helpful but not exhaustive. 1. The sufficiency of Scripture should encourage us as we try to discover what God would have us to think (about a particular doctrinal issue) or to do (in a particular situation). We should be encouraged that everything God wants to tell us about that question is to be found in Scripture. This does not mean that the Bible answers all the questions that we might think up, for “The secret things belong to the Lord our God” (Deut. 29:29). But it does mean that when we are facing a problem of genuine importance to our Christian life, we can approach Scripture with the confidence that from it God will provide us with guidance for that problem. There will of course be some times when the answer we find is that Scripture does not speak directly to our question. (This would be the case, for example, if we tried to find from Scripture what “order of worship” to follow on Sunday mornings, or whether it is better to kneel or perhaps to stand when we pray, or at what time we should eat our meals during the day, etc.) In those cases, we may conclude that God has not required us to think or to act in any certain way with regard to that question (except, perhaps, in terms of more general principles regarding our attitudes and goals). But in many other cases we will find direct and clear guidance from the Lord to equip us for “every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17). As we go through life, frequent practice in searching Scripture for guidance will result in an increasing ability to find accurate, carefully formulated answers to our problems and questions. Lifelong growth in understanding Scripture will thus include growth in the skill of rightly understanding the Bible’s teachings and applying them to specific questions.
Wayne Grudem (Making Sense of the Bible: One of Seven Parts from Grudem's Systematic Theology (Making Sense of Series))
No human teacher can take the place of Christ; no book can take the place of the Bible. Men can give us information, but only the Spirit can give us illumination and help us understand spiritual truths.
Warren W. Wiersbe (The BE Series Bundle, Paul's Letters: Be Right / Be Wise / Be Encouraged / Be Free / Be Rich / Be Joyful / Be Complete / Be Ready / Be Faithful)
But if we are all God’s children, why does God spend so much time in history ordering one branch of his universal family to wipe out another branch? Why did his love for his Jewish children have to be expressed by the extermination of his Palestinian children? Why did he later abandon his Jewish children in favour of his Christian children and encourage his new favourites to torment their older siblings? Why did he order his Muslim children who worship him as One to persecute his pagan children who worship him as Many? Why is there so much violence in religious history, all done by groups who claim God is on their side? Unless you are prepared to believe that God actually plays favourites like some kind of demented tyrant, then there are only two ways out of this dilemma. The obvious one is to decide that there is no God. What is called God is a human invention used, among other things, to justify humankind’s love of violence and hatred of strangers. Getting rid of God won’t solve the problem of human violence but it will remove one of its pretexts.
Richard Holloway (A Little History of Religion)
1NOW ABOUT food sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge [concerning this]. Knowledge [alone] makes [people self-righteously] arrogant, but love [that unselfishly seeks the best for others] builds up and encourages others to grow [in wisdom].
Anonymous (Amplified Holy Bible: Captures the Full Meaning Behind the Original Greek and Hebrew)
God gives the Scriptures to us so that we would have hope, life, and comfort. So we ask, at last, “Where is the comfort? Where is the forgiveness of my sins? Where is my Savior Jesus?” With these questions, the Gospel shines through. “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). When we look for the comfort of the text, then we find the heart of the Scriptures and the purpose of God’s Word: the forgiveness of our sins. The Bible, at last, is a revelation of God’s work of salvation for us. The Scriptures give what we can obtain nowhere else: the life-winning, sin-forgiving death of Jesus brought into our ears and heart as the sure and certain promise of God’s kindness for us.
Bryan Wolfmueller (Has American Christianity Failed?)
A lot of my clients will often tell me they need to behave like a doormat, because that’s what the Bible says they should do. But I’m pretty sure the Bible says to “treat your neighbor as yourself,” not better than yourself. Most spiritual guidance encourages us to be bold enough to live according to our values, even when doing so displeases some people.
Amy Morin (13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success)
For those maturing believers that do not participate in the immorality and deep things of Satan, Messiah knows and will not place that burden on them and encourages them to hang on until He returns. (2:25) ‘Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.
Shahe Nahler (Revelation - A Word by Word Bible Study)
Radiate your Smiles. For Smiles and Cheer are the greatest stimulators in the world. You don’t have to speak to Radiate Smiles and Cheer. They shoot their rays of warmth and healing and encouragement from the very lines of your Face and the very movements of your body.
Napoleon Hill (The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity)
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a list of twenty-five great qualities about you. If you have trouble, enlist the help of friends, family, and most important, the One who made you great. Once you’ve made a list of great things about you, why not do the same for a single friend of yours who needs a confidence boost? She’ll be encouraged, and you may just get blessed in the process, too. If you question the scriptural soundness of this assignment—what about humility and the verse that says “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought” (Rom. 12:3)?—I respectfully challenge you to look up the word “love” in a concordance and start reading through the numerous Bible verses that affirm how much your Creator loves and values you. I’m not suggesting you trot around with I’m-all-that haughtiness, but I am suggesting that thinking too lowly of yourself—even hating yourself—is just as sinful. You are a creation of the Most High God, who crafted you in your mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13), who engraved you on the palms of his hands (Isa. 49:16), and who loved you enough—even before you were born—to send his Son to die in your place for your sins. When you think too lowly of yourself, you discredit all that—and you dishonor God.
Camerin Courtney (Table for One: The Savvy Girl's Guide to Singleness)
Let a man cease from his sinful thoughts, and all the world will soften towards him, and be ready to help him; let him put away his weakly and sickly thoughts, and lo, opportunities will spring up on every hand to aid his strong resolves; let him encourage good thoughts, and no hard fate shall bind him down to wretchedness and shame. The world is your kaleidoscope, and the varying combinations of colors, which at every succeeding moment it presents to you are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts.
Napoleon Hill (The Prosperity Bible: The Greatest Writings of All Time on the Secrets to Wealth and Prosperity)
Prophets of God, have turned into Profits of Gold. No pay, No pray. 1 Timothy 6:10 Hebrew 13:5
De philosopher DJ Kyos
Researchers identify some habits as “keystone habits,” meaning that in addition to creating a healthy routine, they influence all areas of your life, encouraging other virtuous behaviors.
Drew Dyck (Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science (A Guide for Sinners, Quitters, and Procrastinators))
His father had encouraged his reading of Mr. Emerson, but had not, to his recollection, insisted that he read the Bible.
Williams John
GOD can change your End GAME to your A GAME Jeremiah 29:11 Proverbs 3:5-6
De philosopher DJ Kyos
GOD has changed my End GAME to my A GAME Jeremiah 29:11 Proverbs 3:5-6
De philosopher DJ Kyos
A weekly paycheck A comfortable bed A dream in your heart Educational opportunities for your children A local church that encourages you A healthy body A closet full of clothes A Bible to read Hope for the future And those are just a few things that came to my mind. I bet if you took the time to think and pray about it, you could come up with a list 10 times longer than this one. Some of those things I mentioned may seem pretty basic, but if you think about it, there are people around the world who don’t have even the most basic things you have. Water, food, shelter—these things aren’t to be taken for granted.
Joyce Meyer (Get Your Hopes Up!: Expect Something Good to Happen to You Every Day)
The Source of Your Confidence For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness]. 2 CORINTHIANS 5:21 Knowing we are loved and accepted even in our imperfection is such a relief! Serving God from desire rather than obligation is incredibly liberating and brings great peace and joy to our lives. The Bible says that we love Him because He first loved us (see 1 John 4:19). Being assured of God’s unconditional love gives us confidence and boldness. Our confidence should not be in anything or anyone but Jesus—not in education, outward privilege, positions we hold, people we know, how we look, or our gifts and talents. Everything in this world is shaky at best, and we should not place our confidence in it. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (see Heb. 13:8). We can count on Him to always be faithful and do what He says He will do—and He says He will always love us. He says we are righteous in His sight, and we need to make a decision to simply believe it. We become what we believe we are; therefore, as we become convinced that we are right with God, our behavior will improve. We will do more things right and with less effort. As we focus on our relationship with God rather than our performance, we relax, and what God has done in our spirits when we were born again is gradually worked out in our souls and finally seen through our daily lives. No matter what other people may have told you that you are not, God delights in telling you in His Word who you are in Him—loved, valuable, precious, talented, gifted, capable, powerful, wise, and redeemed. I encourage you to take a moment and repeat those nine things out loud. Say, “I am loved, valuable, precious, talented, gifted, capable, powerful, wise, and redeemed.” He has a good plan for you! Get excited about your life. You are created in God’s image and you are amazing! Trust in Him Do you trust God’s Word, which says you are loved unconditionally?
Joyce Meyer (Trusting God Day by Day: 365 Daily Devotions)
God’s Love EXPLANATION: Just as Hosea went after his unfaithful wife to bring her back, so the Lord pursues us with his love. His love is tender, loyal, unchanging, and undying. No matter what, God still loves us. IMPORTANCE: Have you forgotten God and become disloyal to him? Don’t let prosperity diminish your love for him or let success blind you to your need for his love. Restoration EXPLANATION: Although God will discipline his people for sin, he encourages and restores those who have repented. True repentance opens the way to a new beginning. God forgives and restores. IMPORTANCE: There is still hope for those who turn back to God. No loyalty, achievement, or honor can be compared to loving him. Turn to the Lord while the offer is still good. No matter how far you have strayed, God is willing to forgive you.
Anonymous (Life Application Study Bible: New Living Translation)
Lock shields with other men. Proverbs 18:1 says that when a man gets alone and away from others, he tends to do two unhealthy things: he “seeks his own desire,” and he “quarrels against all sound wisdom.” Since we are in a moral battle, we need other soldiers around us, men who can help us become better and stronger. By working together and being honest, men can help each other with their struggles, encourage their daily walk, warn against doing stupid things, and then provide counsel toward becoming more successful in marriage. Find some good men around you and start meeting for workouts, breakfast, Bible study, or prayer together. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17 NIV).
Stephen Kendrick (The Resolution for Men)
February 2 Donna Made a Difference Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.—1 Corinthians 10:31b Donna’s big brown eyes and sweet smile were like magnets drawing people to her. Her face had a glow that just can’t be described. Donna and I became good friends after meeting each other in a Bible study several years ago. My dear friend battled cancer for four years. She lost her battle, one day past her fifty-second birthday. Donna lived to glorify God. She always put God and others first in her life. Donna never complained about her years of suffering. When I telephoned her to see how she was doing, she always blessed me more than I blessed her. Donna never missed an opportunity to tell others the good news of Jesus Christ. Because her face glowed with God’s love, people listened to her. She shared the good news of Jesus to waitresses, to physicians, to nurses, to hospital employees. Instead of being consumed with her sad situation, she was concerned about others knowing how to have eternal life. Many people will be in heaven because Donna made a difference. I want to be more like Donna—patient, kind, uplifting, and always ready to tell someone about Jesus Christ. She was his faithful servant. She studied the Word, she claimed the Word, she lived the Word, and she shared the Word. Christians have the responsibility of representing Christ in all we do. We all need to be more like Donna. She did everything in the name of her Lord Jesus. She lived as Christ’s ambassador while on this earth. Today’s Scripture tells us that we should do everything for the glory of God. Glorifying God means that we give honor and praise to God. It means that we recognize His power and His importance. A good question that we might ask ourselves as a guiding principle is this: Will these words or this action bring glory to God? Do you make a difference?
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
February 16 A Love both Tough and Tender God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.—Psalm 68:6 This beautiful passage holds three keys on how God deals with His creation. The first is an image of God constructing a home for each of us. Not only has he given us a dwelling in heaven, but the Bible says that He gives us families right here. Our own expectations can keep us from recognizing this gift. God has given us more than blood relatives; He has given us relatives by His blood. If we feel displaced, we should look around for the family that we have been failing to see. The second phrase tells us that he leads forth the prisoners with singing. God has designed abundant life for us and sent His Son to set us free (John 10:10, 8:36). He has given us the gift of song to celebrate our freedom. We return the gift by praising his name. We are encouraged by song when the world around us is harsh and lonely. The third word picture is that of a sun-scorched land. Obedient sheep follow their shepherd into abundance. The rebellious sheep insist that Jesus is unworthy to lead, nibbling instead at whatever leftovers he or she can find. God’s ultimate goal is that all His sheep would come into His fold (2 Peter 3:9), but He allows us independence. If your life is barren right now, why not turn around and seek the excellent grazing land that God has set aside for you? God also wants us to thrive for His glory. He is tender enough to meet our needs and give us families, tough enough to break the chains that bind us, and gracious enough to let us wander until we recognize our need for Him. Lord, thank You for Your great love and wisdom. You are so good! Please teach me to be grateful, and let me never forget that Your plans are always better than mine.
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
January 30 Through and Through Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.—Psalm 23:4 The 23rd Psalm is one of the best-known and best-loved passages in the Bible, memorized by millions. We read it and quote it when we seek rest, encouragement, comfort and re-assurance. During a time of special need, I found even deeper meaning as I was reading this familiar passage. I was shocked as verse four (cited above) almost leapt off the page. Look at it again. Mentally underline the word through. The psalmist, David, didn’t write from the valley nor away from the valley. He wrote through the valley. Maybe you’re thinking as I sometimes do, that I would prefer to skip some of the throughs. They can be sad, painful, and challenging. But do you find that these valleys, fires, and waters, are often times of greatest learning, times of deepest understanding? They are affirmations that God is with us. We sense his presence even more keenly. If you are experiencing one of these valleys, rivers, waters or fires can you stop and thank God that He is with you in this difficult time? Take time to read Isaiah43:1-5 to hear God’s words to Israel. Be encouraged as you read when you pass through the waters; rivers; fire. Heavenly Father, how I thank You for Your Word, assuring us that You are with us through our tough times. I ask that You make Your presence very real to each person reading these words.
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
Why does God offer this protection to us? Why does He offer these precious promises? Why does God never leave us alone? What attracts Him to us so much that He ordained a purpose and plan for us before we even existed? Love! He loves us more than we could ever know or even understand. His love can cast out our fears (1 John 4:18), and it is because of love that we can feel confident as we serve Him. The Word of God encourages us to “know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments” (Deuteronomy 7:9). Bask in that love for a few minutes as we close this first week . God sees you, loves you, and will never leave you alone — let that give you confidence to go out and change your world! Our “background work” is finished! Now that we understand how it was that King Ahasuerus found himself in need of a queen, we are ready to meet our heroine: Esther! Just as God was working on Esther’s behalf a long time before anyone knew anything about her, God is working on your behalf right now — and He values you even on days when you do not feel valued by anyone! As you continue your journey with the Lord, look to Him for approval — not to the people around you! “Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, ‘Have I also here seen Him who sees me?’” Genesis 16:13 Father, You truly are the God who sees me! If I allow it to, Your love will free me. Your love will free me from being bound or motivated by the opinions of the people around me... Your love will free me from quick judgements (my own or those of people around me)... Your love will free me to grow confident in the knowledge that in You I am safe. Your love will free me from worrying about consequences of my obedience to You. Your love will free me to truly become the woman of God that I know You are calling me to be — passionate, purposeful, pure... Jesus, thank You that He who the Son has set free is free indeed... You are the God who sees me, and I love You!     _____________________________________________________ 1. Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Volume Two (USA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1996), p. 866. 2. Esther 9:30 3. Hebrews 13:8 4. Dr. Augustus Hopkins Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 420.
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
February 20 Abba, Father Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”—Romans 8:14-15 I stood glued to my spot in front of the nursery window. My son-in-law bathed my firstborn granddaughter, Rachel, as I watched. Three hours later I relinquished my spot to another new grandparent. What miracles children are! They are screaming testimonies of God’s creation. My granddaughter, Rachel, is now a teenager. She is still beautiful. However, she eats meat, walks, talks and understands so much more than she did that first morning. When we acknowledge that we are sinners, repent and give our lives to Christ, we are babies in Christ. We drink milk. We grow as we learn more about Christ through Bible study, prayer and church attendance. If we avail ourselves of opportunities, we give up the bottle and become mature Christians. However, that doesn’t always happen. This problem is addressed in Hebrews 5:11–14.the writer is admonishing Jewish Christians to grow up. He tells them that milk is for beginners. Solid food is for the mature. He tells them that instead of expecting to be fed, they should be teachers themselves. I have heard several Christians give the same testimony time and time again. I want to ask, “What is the Lord doing for you right now? Did your salvation experience put your Christian testimony on pause?” Ask yourself some questions. What is Christ doing in my life right now? Am I closer to Him today than I was a year ago? How am I growing in Christ? What new service has He called me into? Is anything exciting happening in my prayer life? Am I growing more in love with Jesus and digging into His Word? Dear Father, help us get out of diapers and off the bottle in our Christian maturity.
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
You know, the Bible encourages us not to forsake fellowship with other believers. I think it’s because we really do need each other. Not a one of us can thrive isolated and on our own.
Karen Scalf Linamen (Welcome to the Funny Farm: The All-True Misadventures of a Woman on the Edge)
Many parents lack a biblical view of discipline. They tend to think of discipline as revenge - getting even with the children for what they did. Hebrews 12 makes it clear that discipline is not punitive, but corrective. Hebrews 12 calls discipline a word of encouragement that addresses sons. It says discipline is a sign of God's identification with us as our Father. God disciplines us for our good that we might share in his holiness. It says that while discipline is not pleasant, but painful, it yields a harvest of righteousness and peace. Rather than being something to balance love, it is the deepest expression of love.
Tedd Tripp (Shepherding a Child's Heart)
Comfort for Comfort For this reason Jesus had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every way so he could be their merciful and faithful high priest in service to God. Then Jesus could die in their place to take away their sins. And now he can help those who are tempted, because he himself suffered and was tempted. HEBREWS 2:17–18 NCV God chose to come to earth in human form to be made like us. To understand what it’s like to be human. To be able to fully take our place and remove our sins. Because He was fully human while being fully God, He can help. He can comfort. The Bible says that He “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4 NIV). It’s so encouraging that Jesus was just like us! Our God is not one who wants to remain as a distant high king, out of touch with the commoners. He wants a very personal relationship with each one of us. He lowered Himself to our level so that we could have personal and continual access to Him. His glory knows no bounds, yet He desires to be our Friend. Take great comfort in that. And then when people around you are troubled, you can step in. You can wrap your arms around someone else who needs a friend because of what Jesus has done for you. Dear Jesus, thank You for the great gift of Your friendship. Allow me the opportunity to be a friend and comfort to those around me in need. Amen.
Anonymous (Daily Wisdom for Women - January 2014: 2014 Devotional Collection)
While King Ahasuerus has been rotating his guests during these six months, these seven princes have most likely been with him the whole time as well. To Ahasuerus, it may have seemed that these were the right men to go to for advice, but Ahasuerus is not at his sharpest after these six months of celebrating. We can only imagine that these advisors are as bored and as drunk as King Ahasuerus, even though earlier in this chapter (verse 8) the historian makes a point of telling us that the guests were not required to drink. These men may have been “partying” right along with Ahasuerus for these six months, and their judgement may be hindered by the atmosphere as much as the king’s judgement has been hindered. On a more personal note, can you think of any time when you sought out the wrong person for advice or counsel? I sure can! You would not seek advice on your finances from someone who filed bankruptcy yesterday, nor would you seek advice on marriage from a child. When you need wise counsel, you need to find someone who has experienced victory in the same situation in which you are experiencing difficulty. Of course, when I catch myself looking to the wrong people for advice, many times I realize something: I am not really looking for advice, I am looking for support. Sometimes we seek out people that we expect will be sympathetic to our cause. Ahasuerus may have done this very thing in choosing these men. Maybe Ahasuerus has already determined what he wants to do with Vashti, and now he is looking for validation. Big mistake! Here is a lesson we can take from Ahasuerus: there are situations in our lives when we should seek an opinion from an objective party. The Bible encourages us to seek wise counsel. We should use wisdom and choose someone with more experience and wisdom than we have ourselves. If Ahasuerus wanted approval, he found it in these seven advisors. If he merely wanted a decisive opinion on what course of action to take, he has found that. And Memucan answered before the king and the princes: “Queen Vashti has not only wronged the king, but also all the princes, and all the people who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. For the queen’s behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when they report, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come.’ Esther 1:16-17 When Ahasuerus asks for advice, one of the advisors speaks out quickly. Memucan answers Ahasuerus, and apparently he has taken Vashti’s refusal pretty personally himself. Perhaps Memucan’s wife is among those women that Vashti is entertaining. Memucan exaggerates this situation to make it seem like a very serious infraction indeed, and he wants the king to see it his way. Memucan says, “Queen Vashti has not only wronged the king, but also all the princes, and all the people who are in all the provinces” (v. 16). He suggests that the queen’s refusal will make all women despise their husbands (v. 17). … Is Memucan taking this situation a little far? This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media will say to all the king’s officials that they have heard of the behavior of the queen. Thus there will be excessive contempt and wrath. If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
When you think of investments and returns, call Mark 10. If you are depressed, call Psalm 27. If your pocketbook is empty, call Psalm 37. If people seem unkind, call John 15. If discouraged about your work, call Psalm 126. If you find the world growing small and yourself great, call Psalm 19. —AUTHOR UNKNOWN Emergency numbers may be dialed direct. No operator assistance is necessary. All lines to heaven are open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Prayer: Father God, You say to call on You, that You will never forsake me. Thank You for giving me the Bible so I can be encouraged in times of emergency. Amen.   Action: Call one of the emergency phone numbers today to see what information you receive.   Today’s Wisdom: Without wise leadership, a nation is in trouble; but with good counselors there is safety. —PROVERBS 11:14 TLB
Emilie Barnes (Walk with Me Today, Lord: Inspiring Devotions for Women)
In our Christian walk we are encouraged not to remain like babes and children, but to wean ourselves from spiritual milk and soft food and grow into healthier foods. God wants us to exhibit signs of maturity, and many times this comes through very difficult life situations. My experience validates that we grow through difficulties and not through just the good times. If we are not mature, the reason is observable: We have not been workers but idlers in our study of the Bible. Those who are just "Sunday Christians" will never grow to maturity-it takes the study of the Scriptures to become meat-eaters of God's Word. We must be workers in the Scriptures. Paul told Timothy, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman... accurately handling the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). We must roll up our sleeves and do the job ourselves instead of expecting a pastor or teacher to do it for us. PRAYER Father God, thank You for inspiring men of old to write Your Scriptures. They have become my Scriptures; they have become my salvation. Without the knowledge of Scripture my life would be tossed about like the waves in the wind. Thank You for my stability. Amen. HEART ACTION Discover God's strength and comfort by reading His Word each day. Single out a phrase or even a word that really speaks to your heart and carry that with you during your day.
Emilie Barnes (The Tea Lover's Devotional)
f you're looking for sparkle in your life, I've got some great ideas. • Nothing lifts my spirits more than encouraging scriptures. Try framing a card with your favorite Bible verse and hang it next to where you do your work. Talk about sparkle! And make sure your children have their own Bibles to introduce "sparkle" in their lives. • Ask a friend to be your prayer partner for a week. Call or e-mail each other with prayer requests and praises. Or walk together and get rid of some pounds while praying. Write prayers that go along with a verse of Scripture. • Volunteer your home for a Bible study. Be on the lookout for ways to obey God by serving others. Such simple things, but what joy they can bring.
Emilie Barnes (365 Things Every Woman Should Know)
The scripture gives us timeless hope.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
When these people come to the church expecting to find support and encouragement as they face the struggles of their workplace, too often they find that the church is suspicious of them. And worse, if they have come to accept some of the tenets of the scientific consensus that the church has traditionally disparaged, they are also marginalized in the church. The message is loud and clear: leave your scientific conclusions at the door. We are not doing a good job of ministering to these brothers and sisters. We have communicated that their commitment to Christ is subverted, their service to the church is unwanted and their very salvation is suspect. We have to do better in providing safe contexts for people in the sciences, and we would do well to learn from them. At times, however, they are confused, and it would be appropriate for the church to help them work through these difficult issues—not by making them choose (Bible or science) but by charting a path of convergence and compatibility.
John H. Walton (The Lost World of Adam and Eve: Genesis 2-3 and the Human Origins Debate)
8:14–17 We are no longer cringing and fearful slaves; instead, we are the Master’s children. What a privilege! Because we are God’s children, we share in great treasures as coheirs. God has already given us his best gifts: his Son, his Holy Spirit, forgiveness, and eternal life; and he encourages us to ask him for whatever we need.
Anonymous (Life Application Study Bible, NIV)
March 4 The Salt of the Earth Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.—Colossians 4:6 I grew up out in the country of east Tennessee, and our neighbors were dairy farmers. I remember the cows gathering around the salt-lick, a huge block of salt hung on a post about as high as the cattle’s mouth. They not only craved the salt, they needed it. All of us need a certain amount of salt in our bodies. This verse reminds me of a salt-lick. Just as all creatures crave salt, all people crave words of blessing and encouragement. Salt adds flavor. As Christians, our conversation should be flavored with words that bless the lives of others —words that compliment, build up, comfort, express kindness. Salt also preserves against corruption. The things we do and say can be a witness to others to bring them to the Lord; perhaps to bring them back to Him and help them remain faithful. In Matthew 5:13, Jesus tells his disciples that they are the salt of the earth, but warns them that if the salt loses its flavor, it is of no good to anyone. In Bible time, the salt they used was sea salt which was mixed with impurities. Those impurities caused the salt to lose its flavor. I have a friend who works for Morton Salt Company. He says their salt is 100% sodium chloride. It will never lose its flavor, because it is pure. You are the salt of the earth. Don’t let the impurities of the world cause you to lose your flavor!
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
1 CORINTHIANS 14 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (without Cross-References))
These days, we don’t dare carry Bibles with us openly. We gather in groups of two and three, and use our smart phones to download Scripture from the Internet. We meet long enough to read a passage, discuss its meaning, then encourage and pray for one another. After that we disband.
David Garrison (A Wind in the House of Islam: How God is drawing Muslims around the world to faith in Jesus Christ)
March 5 Wearing our Crown Well Children’s children are a crown to the aged…—Proverbs 17:6 Oh, the sting of it! We spend our best years taking our children from cradle to college, making our mistakes and learning our lessons. Now that we are old and full of wisdom we are regarded as irrelevant by the (untried) generation that is raising our precious grand-children. Even though I vow that I will never do it again, sometimes the words just slip out: “When the kids (you kids) were little, we did so-and-so.” Most often my helpful hint or amusing anecdote is greeted with a glazed look and several seconds of polite silence that most definitely do not say, How fascinating. Tell me more. Yet Scripture affirms the value of one generation passing on its wisdom to the next. So what do we do? Fortunately the Bible not only teaches us the “what” of God’s principles, but also the how. In its pages we can learn how the process is done, and what we might be doing wrong. As of today, this is what I am learning: My attitude is more important than my words: A kind-hearted woman gains respect (Proverbs 11:16). When I speak, my words need to be kind and wise: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according their needs (Ephesians 4:29a). Don’t sweat the small stuff. Take the long view. Think and say the best: If anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8b). Praying for my children and grand-children is one of the most important jobs I have. God is on the throne. He loves them (and me) and his plan is good. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayers and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:4a-6).
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
Praying for the Nations, INTERCESSION. Consider the dynamic power of God’s declaration of what He can do with any one of us. “Threshing” means interceding, and God links it with nations (see Mic. 4:11–13). Further, He encourages us that if we will yield to the Holy Spirit, obey His promptings, and believe that He is working, He will use us to radically change the course of the history of the nations as we pray. Our responsibility is to be interceding for every nation of the world. “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Is. 56:7). Seek a systematic plan of praying for each of the world’s nations. Make your main focus to be on the body of Christ in those nations. God has shaped history around His people, and He still calls them to expect to shape the history of the nations. Intercession is foundational to this (see notes on Ps. 2:8, 9).
Jack W. Hayford (New Spirit-Filled Life Bible: Kingdom Equipping Through the Power of the Word, New King James Version)
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
Crossway (ESV Reader's Bible)
God has not destined us for  j wrath, but  k to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10[†] l who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11[†]Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Anonymous (ESV Study Bible)
3:2 establish…encourage…your faith. This was a common ministry concern and practice of Paul (Acts 14:22; 15:32; 18:23). Paul’s concern did not focus on health, wealth, self-esteem, or ease of life, but rather the spiritual quality of life. Their faith was of supreme importance in Paul’s mind as evidenced by 5 mentions in vv. 1–10. Faith includes the foundation of the body of doctrine (Jude 3) and their believing response to God in living out that truth (Heb. 11:6).
John F. MacArthur Jr. (The MacArthur Daily Bible: Read through the Bible in one year, with notes from John MacArthur)
Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
Anonymous (Holy Bible Text Edition NLT: New Living Translation)
Nonetheless, Augustine and Pusey are surely clear examples of fighting one’s battle on the wrong ground. They assume that if unbelievers mock and question God’s ability to do the marvelous, then the appropriate response must be to affirm God’s ability to do the marvelous and encourage a stance of reverence. Both elements of the response are indeed appropriate to believers—but this is surely not the place to invoke them. To put it in other terms, one must first consider the genre of Jonah and the literary conventions that it utilizes, and then consider how best to promote a right appreciation and understanding of the book,7 rather than meet flatfooted mockery with equally flatfooted piety.
R.W.L. Moberly (Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture)
Worry weighs a person down;        an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Anonymous (The One Year Chronological Bible NLT)
6We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[79] faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[80] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Anonymous (Holy Bible, NIV)
Nothing has a greater impact on spiritual growth than reflection on Scripture. If churches could do only one thing to help people at all levels of spiritual maturity grow in their relationship with Christ, their choice is clear. They would inspire, encourage, and equip their people to read the Bible—specifically, to reflect on Scripture for meaning in their lives. The numbers say most churches are missing the mark—because only one out of five congregants reflects on Scripture every day.[21] Time in the Word
Josh Hunt (Obedience)
The young are usually full of self-confidence, with grand dreams and ambitions. Up to a certain age, we believe that all of our plans will work. Many of our peers advise enthusiastically, “Go for it!” That advice may be encouraging and what we want to hear—but it’s in our own best interests to seek the experience and wisdom of those who have lived life with all its ups and downs, successes and failures. If we listen carefully to these older, wiser folks, we can avoid the pitfalls our own exuberance might plunge us into. Resist the assumption that older people are out of touch with today’s world—that their hard-earned wisdom is not relevant to our modern situations. The temptation is to wonder what they could possibly tell us about relationship problems or career choices when they haven’t the first clue about how to send a text message or change the settings on a computer. Never confuse knowledge—especially of technical things—with wisdom.
Ed Strauss (A Hobbit Devotional: Bilbo Baggins and the Bible)
for He has said, “I WILL NEVER [under any circumstances] DESERT YOU [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], NOR WILL I FORSAKE or LET YOU DOWN or RELAX MY HOLD ON YOU [assuredly not]!” [Josh 1:5] 6So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER [in time of need], I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?” [Ps 27:1; 118:6]
Anonymous (Amplified Holy Bible: Captures the Full Meaning Behind the Original Greek and Hebrew)
Whoever wishes to learn, must begin with the knowledge of the Holy Bible.
Lailah Gifty Akita
At which I was greatly lightened, and encouraged in my soul; for thus, at that very instant, it was expounded to me: Begin at the beginning of Genesis, and read to the end of the Revelations, and see if you can find, that there were ever any that trusted in the Lord, and were confounded.  So coming home, I presently went to my Bible, to see if I could find that saying, not doubting but to find it presently; for it was so fresh, and with such strength and comfort on my spirit, that it was as if it talked with me. 64.  Well, I looked, but I found it not;
John Bunyan (Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners)
See, you do care about him! Sarah, what Nolan Walker needs is a good wife to encourage him, to see that he eats properly, make sure he gets his rest.” The picture Prissy had painted of Sarah as devoted wife, caring for Nolan, was a very appealing one. But she couldn’t dwell on it, because Prissy wasn’t done. “When are you going to get off your lofty perch and let yourself love him?” she went on. “That excuse that he’s a Yankee’s wearing a little thin by now, don’t you think?” Sarah stared at her as they had reached their little cottage and went in. She hung up her coat with a sigh, then took Prissy’s coat and hung it up, too. “Dr. Walker and I have become friends. But how can he and I be anything more if he’s not a believer? The Bible warns about being unequally yoked, you know.” Prissy groaned exasperatedly. “Sarah Matthews, if you gave that man the slightest bit of encouragement, he’d be sitting in the front pew every Sunday morning, and you know it.
Laurie Kingery (The Doctor Takes a Wife (Brides of Simpson Creek, #2))
22strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said.
Anonymous (NIV Bible)